Communications 2000

Assignment #1 - Oxymora
Friday, October 1, 1999

oxymoron n., pl. oxymora  or oxymorons. A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist. [Greek oxumoron, from neuter of oxumoros, pointedly foolish : oxus, sharp; see OXYGEN + moros, foolish, dull.] --ox'ymoron'ic adj. --ox'ymoron'ically adv.

The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition

Richard Lederer lists a number of oxymora in his book Crazy English (1989). Place a check next to the one you are assigned.

lead balloon

old news

freezer burn

pretty ugly

civil war

inside out

white gold

dry ice

mobile home

voice mail

half naked

random order

sight unseen

divorce court

final draft

press release

original copy

negative growth

act naturally

recorded live

Prepare each part below on a separate sheet of paper headed with your name, the class name, the due date and the assignment number. Proofread your work for conciseness, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and completeness. I will return Part 1 to you on Tuesday, October 5. Use it to improve your work in Part 2.

Part 1 Due Monday, October 4, 1999

    1. Write out the name of the dictionary you are using.
    2. Write out your assigned oxymoron.
    3. Write out the dictionary sense that makes the first word oxymoronic. Include its number.
    4. Use the word, in the sense above, in a concise properly written sentence.

Part 2 Due Wednesday, October 6, 1999

    1. Write out the name of the dictionary you are using.
    2. Write out your assigned oxymoron.
    3. Write out the dictionary sense that makes the second word oxymoronic. Include its number.
    4. Use the word, in the sense above, in a concise properly written sentence.

Example Part 1

    1. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition
    2. open secret
    3. 3a : completely free from concealment : exposed to general view or knowledge
    4. He spoke in the open so all could hear.