Posted by languageandgrammar on October 9, 2008
An oxymoron is a word or phrase that is contradictory. My favorite is jumbo shrimp–although I’m not sure that this is actually contradictory. You have your small shrimp. You have your medium shrimp. You have your large shrimp. Finally, you have your jumbo shrimp. I guess it’s contradictory because how jumbo could a shrimp be? Anyway, I’m not here to talk about shrimp.
In Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, I wrote about the redundancy of exact same or exactly the same. (I don’t know why I didn’t write about jumbo shrimp–maybe volume 2.) Exact opposite is the counter to exact same, except rather than a redundancy, it’s an oxymoron.
Exact means the same and opposite means different, so they shouldn’t be paired–unless you like sounding like a moron–well, at least an oxymoron.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever
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