Juxtaposition and oxymoron are two different literary devices that can be used to create an impactful phrase. While juxtaposition is the comparison of two seemingly opposite elements placed side-by-side for effect, an oxymoron is a contradiction in terms that creates a humorous or paradoxical statement.

What is juxtaposition?

(Markus Spiske at pexles.com)

Picture of differently coloured flags on opposite ends of a pole

Juxtaposition is a figure of speech that involves the placement of two contrasting elements side by side, often for rhetorical effect. For example, Charles dickens uses it in his famous book A Tale of Two Cities “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

What is an oxymoron?

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that uses two contradictory terms together for emphasis. For example, the phrase “a big small town” is an oxymoron. Oxymorons are often used in literature to create a dramatic or poetic effect.

Examples of Juxtaposition

One example of juxtaposition is when two contrasting ideas are placed side by side. For instance, you might say “She’s so smart, she must be stupid” to contrast the two ideas of intelligence and stupidity. Another example of juxtaposition is when two things that are normally considered to be opposites are placed together to create a new meaning. For instance, you might say “He’s so poor, he must be rich” to contrast the two ideas of wealth and poverty.

Examples of Oxymoron

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two seemingly contradictory terms.

Some other examples of oxymorons include:

* “Act Naturally”
* “More perfect”
* “Deafening silence”
* “Frozen chaos”
* “Jumbo shrimp”

While an oxymoron might just seem like a fun wordplay, it can be used to create powerful effects in writing. In some cases, an oxymoron can also be used to express deep emotions that might be difficult to put into words otherwise.

What is the difference between oxymoron, paradox and juxtaposition?

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that uses two contradictory or opposite words together for emphasis, such as “Jumbo Shrimp” or “Working Vacation.” A paradox is a statement that seems to contradict itself but may be true, such as “I always lie.” A juxtaposition is simply an act of placing two things side by side, often for comparison or contrast.

Though they are similar, there are some important distinctions between juxtaposition and paradox. Juxtaposition is a figure of speech that refers to the placement of two contrasting ideas side by side to highlight the difference between them. A paradox, on the other hand, is a statement that seems to contradict itself but contains some truth.

Both oxymorons and paradox can be used for effect in writing, though it’s important not to overdo it. A few well-placed examples can add interest and dimension to your work, but too many can be confusing for readers. When in doubt, err on the side of simplicity!

Frequently asked questions about an oxymoron

How do you identify an oxymoron?

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two seemingly contradictory terms. For example, the phrase “jumbo shrimp” is an oxymoron because shrimp are typically small, while “bittersweet” describes a taste that is both harsh and pleasant. Oxymorons are often used for comedic or dramatic effects, but they can also be used to create serious or poetic statements.

Are morons and oxymorons the same?

No, moron and oxymoron are not the same. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two seemingly contradictory terms, while a moron is simply someone who is considered stupid or foolish.

Can a person be an oxymoron?

Yes, a person can be an oxymoron. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that uses two contradictory terms side-by-side for emphasis. For example, you might say someone is “a loud whisper” or “a dry riverbed.” In each case, the terms contradict each other but are used together to create a visual image or to make a point.

What is an example of a paradox?

A paradox is an apparent contradiction that is nonetheless true. For example, “I always lie” is a paradox because if the speaker is telling the truth, then they are lying.

 

Featured Image by Kevin Jarrett on Unsplash

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