It is a speech figure that consists of joining two words or concepts with opposite meanings in a certain syntactic structure (phrase or sentence).
According to the context in which they are projected gives a third concept.
The literal sense of oxymoron is absurd so it’s use is clearly metaphorical, decorates and forces the reader to interpret and understand the metaphorical meaning. For example: “A false reality”, alluding to the fact that reality is not what it appears.
This rhetorical figure is frequently used in poetry, especially in mystical and loving poetry for the endearing way in which a contradictory expression metamorphoses. It is also used in functional analysis.
Etymologically, it comes from the Greek lexemas ύξύς (oxýs: «pointed, sharp, keen») and μωρόςmōros means «dull, stupid, foolish», as it were «sharp-dull» or like «clever-dumb».
The Greek conglomeration ὀξύμωρον (oksúmōron) which would agree to the Latin formation does not appear to have existed before to the creation of the Latin term.
The nature of oxymoron allows hiding or concealing a sarcastic intention under an expression that in appearance seems incoherent.
The pluralization of oxymoron has been something of significant consideration, an Oxímoron must remain invariable in plural.
However, it is added: “Oxymorons are also documented and valid”
Sometimes, certain expressions are considered to be oxymoron by a matter of subjective judgment. Cases such as “Military Intelligence” and “Smart Weapons,” many argue that intelligence should not be spoken in the military context since it is unreasonable to use methods or disciplines for the annihilation of other living beings.
Types of oxymoron and antithesis and paradox
These are the unquestionable oxymoron, those that are totally adapted to the given conceptualizations that nobody argues about. Example: Lucky accident.
These are uncertain or doubtful oxymoron, which are not absolute; That is, because the concepts that integrate them are not really opposites at all. They are always included unless their inadequacy is more than remarkable.
Example: Black light.
It refers to the oxymoron that is not considered as such by most people, because it depends on perspectives and opinions in every individual in particular, nevertheless, they are included.
Example: Honest Politician.
False or senseless oxymorons:
It is necessary that the contradictory terms that integrate an oxymoron can create a new meaning so that it can be considered as an oxymoron.
The oxymoron should project a concise expression. Just by employing two contradictory words, one contiguous to the other, does not necessary make an oxymoron, the union must have grace and harmony.
Example: «Stop and keep moving», «That’s pretty ugly», «Alone together», and so on…
Technically they are not oxymoron, but verbal gouges. In spite of everything it is included by the “oxymoronic” background of these.
Example: Looking for a kamikaze with experience.
The antithesis is a figure of thought that is commonly confused with the oxymoron, this figure consists of the counter position of words or phrases with opposite meaning. The function of this resource is to reinforce the weight of one word by making use of another.
Leaving aside the literary environment, it is usual to speak of antitheses when someone wants to make a comparison between two people or two situations, generally emphasizing some of the characteristics of it, usually in the negative ones.
Example: «Own and others» Lope de Vega.
The paradox, also a figure of thought, lays in confirming something that appear a contradiction itself, to affirm something that in the environment of a specific culture is meaningless.
The paradox in the mystical language is often used because it insinuates a deeper pursue to express what is unknowable to us.
Example: “I give you an advice, in spite of old: never follow my advice.” Antonio Machado.