oxymorons oxymoronic statements

Just in case you don’t know, an oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictory or opposite terms or ideas are combined.

The word has its origins in the Greek: oxy = "sharp, pointed" and moros, moron = "foolish". In other words, "pointedly foolish". An oxymoron is also defined as “a wittily paradoxical turn of phrase which appeals to ‘unconscious responses instead of rational examinations’ ”. Whew !

Anyway, here are some oxymora that one might hear and/or utter, while in the backcountry:




  • Small Crowd
  • Cold as Hell (doesn't apply for Scandinavians)
  • Found Missing
  • Calm Winds
  • Alone Together
  • Short Distance
  • Slow Speed
  • Amateur Expert
  • Minor Disaster
  • Organized Mess
  • Partially Completed
  • Painless Torture
  • Restless Sleep
  • Work Party
  • Clever Fool
  • Full-Time Hobby
  • Friendly Argument
  • Deafening Silence
  • Extra Time
  • Definite Maybe
  • Male Lady Bug
  • Clearly Confusing
  • Awful Good
  • Almost Exactly
  • Approximately Equal
  • Pretty Ugly
  • Old News
  • Hopelessly Optimistic
  • Half Full (also Half Empty)
  • Medium Large
  • Mild Abrasive
  • Second Best
  • Sure Bet
  • Sweet Sorrow
  • Terribly Nice
  • Unacceptable Solution
  • Loud Whisper
  • Mandatory Option
  • Perfectly Awful
  • Troubled Paradise
  • Same Difference
  • Accidentally on Purpose
  • Act Naturally
  • Bad Luck
  • Less is More
  • Dull Roar
  • Silent Scream
  • Real Fantasy
  • Partial Silence
  • Partial Success
  • Passively Aggressive
  • Tense Calm
  • Progressive Conservative
  • Little Giant
  • Accurate Rumors
  • Bad Health
  • Unbiased Opinion
  • Near Miss
  • Honest Politician
  • Congressional Ethics
  • Governmental Efficiency
  • Conspicuous Absence
  • Deliberate Mistake
  • Genuine Fake
  • Genuine Imitation
  • Somewhat Unique
  • (this space was formerly occupied with "military intelligence" but we deleted it when someone objected. Although he identified himself as both an ex-marine and one who is "a light hearted guy and appreciative of good humor" he nonetheless was quite offended. He indicated that it was depreciating to me and others who served in the military. Unfortunately, Steve did not leave a return email address, so I'm assuming he wasn't serious about discussing it further. Nevertheless, I would like to post my response to him here on this page.

    Thank you Steve, for taking the time to comment.

    Since I was in "Military Intelligence" for four years, perhaps I have a little more experience and insight and, thus, a different point of view. Interestingly, that entry was suggested by someone just recently - in fact, you can see it was on the bottom of the list. When it was suggested, I recalled my own first-hand experiences in the military and actually laughed out loud (LOL). Although the mere fact that we need military is unintelligent, my intent was not to depreciate my own four years of service nor anyone else's.

    However, knowing that there is one person that is offended is enough motivation for me to do everything in my power to make that person feel better - so, I will delete the reference to "military intelligence" from the oxymora list.

    Thanks again for contributing and may your day be filled with many good things.


    Subject? Military Inteligence
    Your Message: I spent 13 years in SAC as a crewmember on B-52's and We always joked about "military intelligence" being an "oxymoron". Anyone who couldn't hack it on a crew was normally transfered to the Intelligence section. Steve must have been a Staff Officer in Military Intelligence for him to complain. A grunt would have found it funny.

    Robert Ratcliffe



  • I paid too much for it, but its worth it.

  • A little pain never hurt anyone.

  • No one goes to that place anymore-it's always too crowded.

  • We do not anticipate any emergencies.

  • I marvel at the strength of human weakness.

  • I tripped over a hole that was sticking up out of the ground.

  • I'm not going to say, "I told you so."

  • I'm proud of my humility.

  • It isn't an optical illusion. It just looks like one.

  • No matter where you go, there you are!

  • I used to be indecisive, now I'm not sure.

  • It rolled off my back like a duck.

  • May I ask a question ?

  • Anyone who isn't confused here doesn't really know what's going on.

  • I've told you for the fifty-thousandth time, stop exaggerating.

  • Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.

  • He lived his life to the end.

  • If you fall and break your legs, don't come running to me. - Samuel Goldwyn

  • You can observe a lot just by watchin'. - Yogi Berra

  • If you come to a fork in the road,take it." - Yogi Berra

  • Why don't you pair 'em up in threes? -Yogi Berra

  • Our similarities are different. - Dale Berra, son of Yogi

  • I distinctly remember forgetting that. - Clara Barton

  • I am a deeply superficial person. - Andy Warhol

  • The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. -W.C. Fields

  • I must follow the people. Am I not their leader ? - Benjamin Disraeli

  • I can resist everything but temptation. - Mark Twain



  • "I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy, but that could change."

  • "If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure."

  • "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

  • "This President is going to lead us out of this recovery."

  • "What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is."

  • "I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."

  • "We're going to have the best educated American people in the world."

  • "I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."

  • "My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, never surrender to what is right."

  • "I deserve respect for the things I did not do."

  • "We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

  • "For NASA, space is still a high priority."

  • "The best thing about rain forests is they never suffer from drought."

  • "Bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement."

    Thanks for all the Gut Busters, Mr. Quayle

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