I’m Clearly Confused
Ready for some more of my Brilliant Oxymorons? I knew it!
We’re already up to the “C’s.” My how time drags along like muffler after you’ve just hit a wicked pothole.
Catfish: I just think there’s something plain unnatural about a cat with gills or a fish with whiskers, don’t you? If this isn’t enough of a reason to drink only filtered water, I don’t know what is. What’s next? bird-dog? Oh wait. There already are those. Hmmm.
Centered around: I’ll bet you’ve heard people say something like this. “Their whole argument is centered around the fact that the building should be in the center of the block, not all broken up in little pieces and scattered all around the block.” Maybe not exactly this, but something like it, right? It kind of makes sense if you’re a civil engineer. But the phrase doesn’t make so much sense if you’re trying to be a civil linguist.
Civil War: Wouldn’t that be nice?
Clean coal: The only people who believe this exists are the people on the commercials trying to get us to send more people into coal mines with a happy heart.
Climb down: What parent hasn’t said this at one time or another? “[Insert name of miscreant child]! Climb down off that [insert high and totally insane location for a human or mammal to be] before I call your [insert name of authority figure that miscreant child has even mild respect/fear of]!” If the miscreant child is smart (and s/he is invariably a smarty-pants), s/he will very correctly say, “What do you want me to do? Come down or keep climbing? You do know climbing means going up, right?” As the responsible, level-headed adult in charge, insert expletive of your choice.
Consistent anomalies: Research scientists, financial analysts on Cable TV, and Science Officers of fake star ships are known for reporting these. These people are trained (or think they are) to observe
unspeakably boring…incredibly important patterns and report them to the each other or to the general…viewing public (wherever they think they will get an award or some press so they can brag about their unspeakably boring…incredibly important “work”). Consistent occurrences are patterns–the tendency for stocks to lose value when the words “Warren Buffett Rule” are used too often in a 24-hour news cycle thus scaring the super-rich to wheel their barrels of money on a freighter destined for some off-shore island bank rather than invest it in a foreign-owned but publicly traded stock, or the tendency of the Star Ship Enterprise to be low on Dilithium Crystals every time Captain Kirk needs more power. Often, but not always, there will be exceptions to the patterns. These exceptions to the patterns are called “anomalies.” So, using my awesome powers of deductive reasoning, wouldn’t anomalies that keep coming up consistently be patterns?
Criminal justice: Most of us are so used to seeing this term, we just gloss over it. But think about it. Is this a term referring to justice for criminals or how criminal our sense of justice really is? My guess is you could answer “yes” to either question and have support from a wide swath of society.
Clearly confused: This oxymoron is self-explanatory, which is really ironic.
Until we meet again, feel free to contribute any “C” oxymorons that you love to love or drive you bananas (and make sure to share them–the bananas–with our Brilliant Oxymoron Hotline Receptionist–he works so hard)!