Oxymorons by Steven Carter
A truncated and dialectical form of the aphorism proper, kind of like the crushed cube a car becomes after it has been compressed in a junkyard, the oxymoron retains the paradox and provocation of the longer saying. Steven Carter (see his parables here; a posting about his aphorisms was lost in a catastrophic failure of the site a while back…) offers plenty of oxymorons to ogle in Little House of Oxymorons, which he describes as “a supplement to The New Devil’s Dictionary, a two-volume ‘sequel’ to Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary of a century ago”:
Scheduled departure: Get to the airport early. Right, so that your wait won’t exceed more than three-and-a-half hours.
Online learning: Online learning is to learning what phone sex is to sex.
Scheduled arrival: See “Scheduled Departure.”
Figuratively speaking: Literally speaking! “It’s literally raining cats and dogs,” exclaims a local weatherman.
Free will: Ambrose Bierce—Free will, O mortals, is a dream / Ye all are chips upon a stream.
Conventional wisdom: True wisdom is unconventional, to say the least, ever and always.
Considered opinion: Opinion.
Reality programming: Contemporary TV offerings, as tedious and stupid as they are highly orchestrated and edited.
Parkway: George Carlin—“Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?”