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Oxymorons: What and who are they?

By Debra Dobbins

What is an oxymoron? Webster’s says it is “a figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory terms are combined” and provides these examples: thunderous silence and sweet sorrow. A popular oxymoron during the Vietnam War was military intelligence.

In the letter below, the writer says medical marijuana is an oxymoron because users want marijuana to get high and not to treat illnesses.

Who are oxymorons? Here’s a hint: They are students in a college that one of our presidents attended for two years.

Yes, you guessed the right man: President Obama. He was enrolled in Occidental College in Los Angeles from 1979 to 1981 before transferring to Columbia University.

Students at Occidental, also known as “Oxy,” waggishly call themselves oxymorons.

So there you have it. The leader of the free world was once an oxymoron. How’s that for a contradiction?

 


 

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