Tag Archives: oxymoron

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.


Jumbo shrimp. I’m not laughing. I never laughed. It stood alone. You couldn’t blend it into a one liner—you had to elaborate. You had to explain, and then you got the laugh. Usually, after the explanation and the first laugh, you do a string of oxymorons: alone together, grow smaller, climb down, small crowd. Still not funny.

Which reminds me, there’s a small crowd tonight at “Rocco’s Ha Ha!” Rocco’s is probably the only comedy club for 500 miles around. Rocco was exiled from the Jersey mob for making a pass at “Tony Bags’s” wife. What was the pass? “You look really nice tonight Mrs. Bags.” You could hear the revolvers cocking. Rocco looked terrified. He said “I didn’t mean nothin’. It was a compliment. I was just being nice.” “Maybe too nice,” said Tony as he reached into his suit jacket. Rocco started begging. “Shaddup!” Said Tony, one inch from Rocco’s face. He pulled a wallet from his suit coat and counted out 20 $100.00 bills. “You’re goin’ to West Virginia to run the comedy club I recently “inherited” from Man Mountain Manny, the has-been wrestler who bet on himself too “Manny” times—get it? “Manny times, ha ha!” Tony gave Rocco the money and told him not to expect any more— he had a life sentence at to club—room and board, and that was it. Tony put me in charge of watching over Rocco, so I was headed to West Virginia too.

The club attracted the worst comics in the Western Hemisphere. I especially hated the guys with the dummies on their knees, cracking jokes about their wood, and each other’s mothers. And then, having the dummies sing “Strangers in the Night” while the ventriloquist drank a glass of water. I found out the ventriloquist had a tube covered with tape on the side of his head that he poured the water down. The tape was the color of his skin, so you couldn’t see the tube. I found this out when I hit a ventriloquist a couple of times in the face after his set and the tube fell off. He wouldn’t talk when I asked him how his drinking-singing thing worked. So, a whack on the face was justified and necessary.

The audience who showed up was terrible. The club held 60 people. We would average 5 men, fresh from the coal mines, still wearing their hard hats with the little spot lights on them. They got drunk and threw small lumps of coal at the acts they didn’t like, which was all of them. One night, I found Rocco in the storeroom with a gun to his head. If he shot himself, I’d take over & probably get a pay raise. I told him if he really had to do it, he should jump into an abandoned coal mine shaft. I heard from Tony the next day: “The rat has deceased.” That was code, but not very good code. Now, I was in charge of Rocco’s Ha ha! Out of respect, I didn’t change the name. I knew the club didn’t have to succeed—it was a money laundering operation. I should’ve realized that in the first place, but I didn’t. But, I was going to make some legit money anyway. I was going to do stand up comedy. It was easy, I would steal jokes off the internet— but not just any jokes. I would do jokes about coal!

My debut arrived. Our five miners were nearly passed out. I stepped onto the stage. I started:

A group of guys covered in coal dust walks into a bar. The barman says “Sorry, we don’t serve miners.”

I was going to try walking on hot burning coals but I got cold feet.

I’ve just seen a paleontologist sitting in a bar talking to a piece of coal. He must be carbon dating.

I applied for a job extracting coal but they said I didn’t have the right experience. Never mined.

Neil Diamond was originally called Neil Coal until the pressure got to him.

We couldn’t decide whether to have a coal or a gas fire and we ended up in a heated argument.

I keep a collection of coal for sedimental reasons.

I thought about a job mining coal but then I realised much of it would be boring.

The miners woke up (more less) and started laughing and applauding, except for the jokes with scientific terms in them. The next night, the club was full. I just kept telling the same jokes over and over, but nobody cared. This went on for about a month, and then, I got a call from Tony: “The laundry is drying.” That was code, but not very good code. I had to stop the comedy. I had been a miner success, but I had to get back to the other funny business.


Coal Jokes: https://punsandoneliners.com/randomness/coal-jokes/


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.


The car parked in the impoundment lot was almost new and very very expensive. It’s not every day we get a Rolls Royce. The interior is made of wood and leather, like it was made by a carving beaver who liked lounging on leather at the end of the workday. The chances anybody would retrieve it grew tinier every day. Who in our big nothing of a town could possibly own, let alone bail out, one of the most expensive luxury cars in the world?

Then I saw Mr. Parker, our high school principal, coming up the street. He was carrying a small suitcase and he was wearing one of those Groucho Marx mustache, glasses, and nose disguises. I was suspicious. When I saw him drive the Rolls off the impound lot, I convicted him in my head of some kind of criminal activity.

I went to the lot and the owner Mr. Rim had some pretty steep stacks of 100-dollar bills on his desk. “Don’t you worry about Mr. Parker,” Mr. Rim said, “He won the Rolls in a raffle and had a little trouble paying the taxes.”

I was relieved. I knew Mr. Parker was a good guy. What happened to him was an unfortunate accident. He got locked in the trunk and starved to death. It was surprisingly predictable—the Rolls is built like a tank and has no latch inside the trunk. The one thing I don’t understand, though, is why none of his colleagues came looking for him.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99. A Kindle edition is available for $5.99.

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

He was having one of his high-lows–a complicated mental episode where he was energized by his depression.

He took medication. It made him sleep.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

Traductio

Traductio (tra-duk’-ti-o): Repeating the same word variously throughout a sentence or thought. Some authorities restrict traductio further to mean repeating the same word but with a different meaning (see ploceantanaclasis, and diaphora), or in a different form (polyptoton). If the repeated word occurs in parallel fashion at the beginnings of phrases or clauses, it becomes anaphora; at the endings of phrases or clauses, epistrophe.

Syrian “child brides” are no longer allowed into the Netherlands accompanying their refugee husbands. “Child brides” seems like an oxymoron, like the famous “jumbo shrimp” or “military intelligence.” Unfortunately, “child bride” is not a figure of speech. Take for example the pregnant 14-year-old who went missing from her 40-year-old husband at one of the Netherlands’ refugees camps. Definitely a child. Definitely a bride  Definitely soon to be a mother.

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, adult husbands and their underage wives (aka child brides) should be divorced and the husbands required to pay alimony and child support for the rest of their lives.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

A: I can’t believe, imagine, or even pretend that you’re a demented prince.  The demented part, I believe. But, if you’re a prince, I’m a microwave oven.

B: Samsung? Panasonic? Or, some off-brand?

A: I can’t believe you believe I’m a microwave oven!

B: You are banished insolent appliance. Guards, take him back to the kitchen and plug him in.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

Ukraine is the victim of a proxy invasion. Russia is joyously worried. The UK is boldly hesitant. The US is sharply unfocused. The EU is coldly boiling. NATO is inactively springing into inactivity. The UN is filing for bankruptcy.

What’s next?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Inopinatum

Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].

What exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

Constipated regularity?

Sincere insincerity?

Adult adolescence?

Who exactly does the US House of Representatives represent?

John Galt?

John Birch?

John Calvin?

John Belushi?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

We live in a dictatorial democracy.

Our political system is like a supermarket where all the shelves are already stocked by the management and the only freedom that shoppers have is the freedom to choose from what’s already on the shelf–as dictated by the  management.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

He is cunningly ingenuous with the rolled up sleeves of his shirt and the “Aw shucks howdy do” as he reaches out to shake hands with you. But the shirt is tailor made, and so is the handshake–tailor made to make you think he’s “just like you” so a vote for him is a vote for you too!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

His obnoxious beneficence is captured in his ‘charitable’ foundation’s motto: “We $ Losers”.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Oxymoron

Oxymoron (ox-y-mo’-ron): Placing two ordinarily opposing terms adjacent to one another. A compressed paradox.

Zealous temperance is moderation’s vice.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).