In this case, an oxymoron. I’m considering doing a short post on how prevalent these are in usage.
An example that slaps me in the face several times a day:
It comes at the end of an ad that makes gambling so much more fun than life. No, I don’t remember the sponsor of the ad. It’s only those two words that stand out for me, the only thing I remember about it (which means the ad misses the mark, I think).
In my mind, the two don’t go together. Gambling, by its very nature, shows a lack of responsibility, a person is taking a risk, and knowing it’s a risk as they do it. A sane person knows that the house always wins and the player gets a sniff only often enough to keep them sniffing the scent of a big win.
In case you’re wondering, I do flutter on occasion. Not every day, not every week, not even every month. If there’s a big jackpot in the lotto, or it’s a gift, and (of course) the Melbourne Cup, some little flutters during the Spring Carnival here. And I keep a record of what I spend, so an annual gamble spend of $50 over a year isn’t a great deal. And, if one of those things win, I get another one (whatever it was). A gamble for me, if it isn’t a big win, is a gamble. It’s lost dough, a bit of fun when with friends at the pub (or similar). I know the risk and I’ll come out of it with less than I went in. Always, especially if I consider the amount spent cross-matched with the amount won.
Oh, the pokies. Yes, that, too, when I’m at a pub that has them and it’s not too crowded. Sometimes win back the cost of the meal. Mostly not. Again, I know the risk and I know I’m not being responsible.
It’s not so much that I’m against gambling, but the expression that comes at the end of the ad that says that a person should be responsible while they gamble. I know life is a gamble, but gambling by its very nature, is … well, gambling. Not a responsible act. Taking a risk, knowing it’s a risk. Put those two words together, gamble responsibly, and you have an example of oxymoron.
So, what do you have that fits that bill? But please don’t mention ‘military intelligence’ – that’s been a cliché and done to death for too long. I want the fresh stench, please.
How many oxymoron examples have you seen? Where do you see them? Why don’t they make sense?
Let’s talk about it …
Oxymoronicism – Yes, I made that word up by combining the two: oxymoron (a real word) and moronicism (this one is also a real word).