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oxymorons

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by treeve, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    I was just musing over Oxymorons, like 'Military Intelligence' and 'Microsoft Works', 'deafening silence' is of course an intended one to show the impact on a person, but the first two are an accident of usage. Like saying the RP has a 'historical environment division', only then you can leave off the 'oxy'.

    Just running through a memory from school I seem to remember that there was a name for two words used together that meant near enough the same thing, like 'tiny little' both adjectives; yes there are foreign words that mean a smaller version of something, but we were taught not to use 'enormous gigantic' in one sentence. I can't remember. Not a tautology, that is saying the same thing twice but in a different manner like 'he got that gift free'. Not a pleonasm, as that uses one word unnecessary in adding meaning like a 'safe haven'. Any clues, please? 58 years is a long time.

    While we are at it, what is your favourite unintended oxymoron?

    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the land of Moron, where the Partnerships lie
    The phone is left unanswered .....
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    One I find I use quite a lot in my line of work is 'original copy' - as in 'that logo/picture you sent is too small - can you send me your original copy?'
    Funny, I hadn't really thought about it before!

    Is 'Synonym' the word you're looking for?
     
  3. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    That is a good one tabtab13;
    and yes the words are synonymous, but the teacher was adamant that the USE of them together, meanings being the same, one or other word was redundant; he gave it a name,
    it is now bugging me ..... Uf2
     
  4. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Hopefully you'll have a 'eureka' moment one morning when you wake up. I often find if I'm trying to remember something, that's when it happens - as though your brain is doing a search through through the multitude of 'files' it has stored away as you sleep, until it comes across the answer you've been looking for.
     
  5. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    That is absolutely true ... once a synapse has been set, it carries on triggering until it finds a match, it carries on in the background, asleep or awake; that has been quoted for example, that if you suddenly think of a fact or a smell or a place, for no apparent reason, it is because you sent a question through your mind many years ago.
     
  6. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    Slightly off your original topic, but isn't it amazing that a simple smell can trigger off a whole set of intense memories? I guess to a certain extent, it's not one of our senses that is used to it's full potential these days.

    Our cats are always most interested in giving us a good sniff over when we've been out - especially if we've been in contact with other animals. We had our two latest additions neutered this week (they are both female) and we also have a tom who was a stray we took in. He has been 'checking' them on a regular basis, but I would swear blind that when he did so last night, the expression on his face said 'Bugger!"
     
  7. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    Thinking about it I now remember it is Redundancy.

    Your cat is an example of the connectivity and memory of the brain. Complicated by the fact that a cat has another sensor in the mouth, I believe in the roof, behind the teeth? Not checked, it is that that generates the open mouth look of a cat, which looks like one of disgust; I was told it is somewhere between smell and taste to a cat. Their senses are greatly in excess of a humans in any case, a dog even more so. To them a smell includes the specie of animal contacted, whether or not they are on heat, where they have been, they have a map in their head of their own esperiences and they add in the data, so I have been told. Our perception is based on body language, speech etc, especially eyes and smile etc. That is one area where animals and humans differ immensely. An animal showing teeth is vastly different from a human showing teeth ...did you want to go off topic?

    One of my favourite pieces of English is the Zeugma
    ... she opened the door in her nightie.
    (which is a strange place to have a door)
     

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