Here’s a long short story

Com­mu­nity per­spec­tive

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS - By Paul Richard­son Teacher, St Au­gus­tine’s Col­lege

OXYMORONS are ram­pant in our ev­ery­day speech; even if we are un­aware of their ex­is­tence that does not mean they are not utilised.

The def­i­ni­tion of an oxy­moron is when ap­par­ently con­tra­dic­tory terms ap­pear to­gether. Some­how young peo­ple, and even older ones too, ap­pear to ver­balise them on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with­out hav­ing even a re­mote idea of what they are. The sim­plest ex­am­ple is the well worn phrase, “yerr no”.

In iso­la­tion, as well as in their purest form, they have op­pos­ing pur­poses, yet gen­eral con­ver­sa­tion is rid­dled with the seem­ingly mean­ing­less but also con­tra­dic­tory state­ment. Hav­ing said that, we as lis­ten­ers do know what the per­son is talk­ing about. I sus­pect this ini­tial ex­am­ple is of­ten lit­tle more than a filler, namely a phrase used when peo­ple need time to think.

How about some of the phrases that roll off the tongue even though they def­i­nitely are in op­po­si­tion to each other. Peo­ple rarely re­flect on this as­pect of their na­ture be­cause we have ac­cepted that we com­pre­hend the per­son’s in­tent.

■ A civil war. Now this makes sense to us

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