A figure of speech so intriguing in both name and concept, so much so that the effect of it manifests as an irony, overriding as it does at times the very crux of the concept to thereby come to rest even truer in its essence, an oxymoron is essentially a way of the literary to establish through yet another means the power that the most cleverly curated words can yield on even the most unshaken of minds. Amusing for sure in their premise of bringing together completely opposing concepts and in such capacity that evokes awe indeed in the very potency of how they span out as, these oft employed devices of literature happen to be one of the most glaring examples of themselves. Being in itself an oxymoron, conveying thus in all absoluteness its own exact meaning, this indeed is one of the most fascinating mediums of word building and language playing that delivers every time its intended effect in supreme accuracy.
The origins of the oxymoron are a bit disappointing in discovery, as far as the first ever examples of it or the ‘proponent’ of them are concerned. But rather clear is the etymology of it, and so is it distinct as embodying of a characteristic that identifies as being autological. That is what we meant when we alluded to the word oxymoron being itself imbued in that essence of the figure of speech that it is, standing for itself in absolute surety. As far as its development as a word goes, the identity is one spanning across considerable a length of time in existence, having been first recorded in the 4th century by Latin grammarian Maurus Servius Honoratus. The form it took back then was the Latinized Greek oxymōrum derived from oksús meaning “sharp, keen, pointed” and mōros meaning “dull, stupid, foolish”. Translating therefore quite literally as sharply dull or pointedly foolish, the word oxymoron outshines itself as the perfect example of itself, acquiring thus a character so steeped in individuality that makes it even more enigmatic a rendition of the grammatical kind.
The modern day assuming of literal shape by the word oxymoron though can be attributed only to the 17th century, sometime in the 1650s when it bore essence as an English elocution as well even as a more general meaning in contradiction came to characterise the premises of it in much expansion during the 20th century. It had been precisely the years of 1657 and 1902 respectively when these two events of significance came to characterise the oxymoron in how it is understood today. The generality availed out of the latter definition might prevail fairly prominently even today but insert in an impeccably well fitting oxymoron in the scheme of things of what identify as literature and the rhetoric of its working is more than evident in the sheer drama that it creates.
But while the superfluence of oxymorons might seem to be one of a deliberate build into the lexical structure, particularly when compared and/ or contrasted with other literary devices of paradox or irony with whom the oxymoron tends to be very commonly confused as well, it is this very wry humor essentially embedded in the oxymoronic expanse that makes it stand out as a more appealing way to have with words. To begin with, oxymoron classifies more as a figure of speech than it does as a literary device which is somewhat conflicting an idea in itself since the effect of oxymorons are most profound in their employing in that latter capacity. That however does not make these clever indeed conjuring of words any less effective in even their passing mentions.
The oxymoron tends to be simpler and more apparent as well in its relaying of meaning which is why it perhaps command a popularity in usage not necessarily confined within the conflicting again restrictions of the elaborate space upon which literature dwells as an artistic identity. But most of all oxymorons play upon this simplicity by being a word as full of itself as can be, which is to say in positive terms as being a definite word over an abstract idea. Across all of its assuming of amusing authority though, one thing is certain oxymorons all over tend to be hardcore representations of what they actually are. No play in deception, just wit not also excessively exalted so that it becomes a device indeed of more fun and intrigue. That, considered in the added dimension in oxymorons being figuratively true and literally untrue makes this play of the words all the more consequential in their outcome.
The appeal of an oxymoron lies in the nonsensical way it makes sense, asserting yet again the duality embedded in its character of being each of the opposites it refers to. As wordplay indeed of a kind grammatically conscious, an oxymoron is a definite entailing out of the intention in banter but even in that singular rendition of it, the oxymoron never ceases to be conflicting in itself, mostly at least if not always. Occurring more commonly as a pair of words rather than as a single one, even when more than enough exceptions exist of the latter kind- again almost an oxymoron in being not the norm yet prevailing in quite common encounter of them, the essence of the oxymoron refuses to leave even one strand of its being unattended.
Residing across every single element of what sums up the oxymoronic identity is an unmissable something that makes it an idea that drives everyone to fascination of whatever degree. Even in their regular chancing upon across pages- whether of the plant or of the web, in sometimes deliberateness otherwise natural indeed, even the most overused of oxymorons do not tend so much to gravitate towards that zone of the deigned cliché, managing to retain their potential even in the face of continuous use- and abuse. For indeed, the very nature of the oxymoron is such that leads it to assert as a whatever always striking in deliverance and dramatic indeed in unfurling.
Drawing upon this range of the many mavericks that oxymorons stand for- never subtle but seldom overbearing as well, they call upon themselves a command that rarely fails to reveal in amusement. And that exactly is why the forever conniving ideals of the literary that seek to employ as many devices of never direct allusions to emphasise indeed its genesis as a creative culture not everyone can proudly claim to indulge in make so much a fuss over the oxymoron wonder. Oxymorons are inherently clever as well; unless one pays close attention it is easy to pass of carefully thought out oxymorons as not any specific ploy employed to induce exactly what one desires to- something that it does still irrespective of whether one acknowledges its flair or not. In fact so common are some of these oxymoronic renditions in ideas of everyday reference that one could be excused indeed for not always allowing this figure of speech the applause it deserves.
‘A paradox with a point’ that what the oxymoron had been in its historical outlining means that in a rather fair number of cases the lexical meaning of the more common phrase or the rarer word holds as well. Bittersweet perhaps is the most distinctive citing in this regard since for some reason the word seems to command first importance when it comes to exampling an oxymoron. Other equally adept mutterings that claim utmost allegiance to the oxymoronic phenomenon are such commonplace encounters of say an open secret or an original copy or no choice or deafening silence as well as the very gracious sounding good grief or the odds of making an exact estimate and the many a silent screams and pretty uglys and working vacations and unbiased opinions that we encounter of and for ourselves.
Cases of deliberate mismatches sought to be worked out as farcical realities assert as something like civil war or even more assertively as honest politicians or business ethics or even the very United Nations itself and of course the most classic of them all being the purported reality of happily married, devised to bear such influence alluding to the oxymoronic identity that classifies more definitely also as oh the irony or in notions of the paradoxical, making thus the ambiguity prevail and the confusion intensify as to which exactly is what. Susceptible therefore to be massively misunderstood even when one ekes them out of rather clear reasoning is the oxymoron that dwells somewhere in between the ends of the skewed logic and a reasonable irrationality or hinges more frequently on the extremes of them so as to oscillate in its staying true to each of the idea it represents literally and that which does it up figuratively, summing up hence a concept eternal in its dwelling in some clear confusion to deliver some humor in all seriousness for doing humankind some divine good.