Figure of Speech- Oxymoron: Oxymoron is a rhetorical figure of speech with words that contradict each other. The ‘same difference’ is used quite commonly and this is a classic example of an oxymoron. Same means one thing and the opposite of it is ‘different. Thus same and difference contradict each other but is used effectively to convey the thought.  It might be puzzling especially if read separately but together they convey a certain meaning. Oxymoron is used for many purposes. Most often it is used to create a drama. Sometimes it is used to make a person think of what is being read and sometimes it evokes laughter and wonderment.

Practice Exercises

Identify the oxymoron in the following sentences

  1. The movie we saw last night was a tragic comedy.
  2. The owner of the land was asking for an exact estimate for the blue print of the plan.
  3. When the children were asked if they could dance, the answer was a definite maybe.
  4. The objects were put in a random order.
  5. There is something wrong with my washing machine. It is running slowly.
  6. The pancake is awfully good.
  7. The new about his transfer is an open secret.
  8. I could not bear the deafening silence.
  9. My aunt was seriously funny.
  10. These books clearly confuse me.
  11. His old girlfriend was pretty ugly.
  12. We were prohibited to uses plastic glasses.
  13. It was a small crowd that came to watch the stand-up comedy show.
  14. Paul has now become an unpopular celebrity.
  15. A wireless cable was installed in our room.
  16. They were terribly pleased with their gift for the wedding.
  17. That smuggler is the only honest thief amongst them.
  18. She was on a heavy diet for three months.
  19. I feel I am growing smaller as I grow old.
  20. The student teacher took classes for a week

Find the right oxymoron for the sentences or phrases given below

  1. Feeling lonely even with people around
  2. Someone who is very tired
  3. Shrimps that are big
  4. Missing someone who is not there
  5. Someone who is big but acts like a baby
  6. When you are into a big problem
  7. The relationship is good and bad
  8. When you go on a holiday but still work and get paid for it
  9. When the matter is not all understood
  10. When you cannot promise but are sure you can do it.