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While the phrase "never say never" may make some think of a certain suave British spy of the silver screen, to wordsmiths this is a thoroughly noxious example of an oxymoron. Strictly speaking, an oxymoron is a literary figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory words, terms, phrases or ideas are combined to create a rhetorical effect by paradoxical means. For those with a budding love of oxymorons, this website will be of great interest. Here visitors can read growing lists of oxymorons, organized by subject (such as religion, relationships, and household), or breeze through the listings by first letter. The site also has a number of oxymoronic quotes and sayings for perusal, including the oft-quoted phrase from Mark Twain: "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." The site is rounded out by a series of discussion boards where visitors may harangue with other visitors over the merits of such terms as "jumbo shrimp" and "anarchy rules."
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GEM Subject
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Date of Scout Publication 2004-07-23
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2004/scout-040723#6

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