How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Oxymoron is where adjacent and connected words appear to form a contradiction.
There was a deafening silence.
The cold fire of her stare nailed him to the wall.
Such foolish wisdom! Such wise folly! Where did I ever see such juxtaposition?
Oxymorons are often surprising in that the contradiction illustrates some wisdom or unexpected truth. This may be done deliberately to put over a message or create some other dramatic effect.
Oxymorons can also be used to create confusion, and so grab attention, distract the listener or give a moment of inattention in which persuasive words may be added.
Sometimes fun is poked at legitimate terms by describing them as oxymorons, such as 'military intelligence' and 'government initiative'.
Oxymoron comes from the Greek oxys, meaning sharp, and moros, meaning dull.