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Learn what are ‘Oxymorons’ in English.

In English, one of ways to create a profound effect while speaking or writing is by presenting oxymoron.  An oxymoron is a phrase, where two or more words with different meanings come together to create an effect. It is very important for English learners to understand the individual meaning of words in such phrases before they could use an oxymoron. In this English lesson we will be discussing few oxymora that are commonly used.

Act Naturally

Act: pretend, artificial

Naturally: real

Actors who ‘act naturally’ are loved by many fans. Or in other words actors get great recognition when they display fake emotions so well that it appears as real or natural

Clearly Misunderstood

Clearly: Undoubtedly, Precisely

Misunderstood: Wrong

We often give instruction or direction or advice to our friends and family, however, sometimes people, unintentionally, understand or do the exact opposite of what we said. They would’ve ‘clearly misunderstood’ what we wanted to say.

Educated guess

Educated: informed, aware

Guess: unsure idea

The oxymoron ‘educated guess’ is often used in scientific fiction movies or in quiz shows. People take ‘educated guess’ when they are not sure of an answer or how to solve a puzzle but guess it by adding all the information what they have.

Found missing

Found: being discovered

Missing: lost

When we realize that an item is lost, the better and effective way to express that realization is ‘found missing’. When, at the airport, you realize you have lost a bag, you can go to ‘Lost and Found’ and say your bag was found missing. Lost and found is another oxymoron that we often see at the airport or train stations.

Jumbo Shrimp

Jumbo: big

Shrimp: small sea animals

Shrimps are usually small seafood. However, one of the species is comparatively bigger than the usual ones. Those shrimps are called ‘Jumbo Shrimps’. Jumbo is a noun usually associated with big, as an elephant. This is what ‘jumbo shrimp’ makes an oxymoron.

Only Option

Only: solo, single

Option: choice of two or more

Whenever we don’t have choices except for one, we say that choice as the ‘only option’. For example, out of many schools, only one school is willing to accept your admission request. That school becomes your only option if you want to get admitted.

Pretty Ugly

Pretty: Beautiful

Ugly: not good looking

Pretty, which usually means beautiful, in this oxymoron means ‘very’. So when we say, the situation is ‘pretty ugly’, we mean that it is very bad.

Small Crowd

Small: less than usual

Crowd: large group of people.

This oxymoron is used in either relation or in comparison to a usual crowd. When we invite people for a party, we may have to invite a ‘small crowd’ to our home. Or in a theatre, only 20-30% seats are sold, it means the show was watched by a ‘small crowd’.

There are many more oxymora used in English language. They add a sense of humour and irony to our speech. An Oxymoron will help you grab attention from your audience and make you sound more eloquent. As English learners, you may want to identify and use oxymora when  speaking or writing.

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