The Noll's Favorite Collection of Oxymorons -- Page 1

A oxymoron is figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side; a compressed paradox. In American English we use many of these constructs. In this paper I try to help the non-native English learner understand the whys and wherefores of oxymorons. I have broken this representative list of oxymorons into some categories. Some could move to another column.

Poetic License
  1. Adult Children
  2. Deafening Silence
  3. Living Dead
  4. Open Secret
  5. Paid Volunteer
  6. Silent Scream
  7. Strangely Familiar
Legal Terms
  1. Border Control
  2. Resident Alien
  3. Rolling Stop
Fad Usage (PC)
  1. Awfully Nice
  2. Pretty Ugly
  3. Sanitary Engineer
  4. Sanitary Landfill
  5. Sanitary Sewer
Stereotype Opinions
  1. Airline Food
  2. Government Worker
  3. Honest Politician
  4. House Ethics Committee
  5. Military Intelligence
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