Do you know what an antonym? No, this is not an insult!
An antonym is a common rhetorical tool that combines two or more words with contradictory meanings into one phrase.
They appear in literature and popular culture, and you probably use them all the time in your daily life.
Today, we delve into the definition of this literary device. We’ll also look at several interesting and often funny examples of antonyms.
What is an oxymoron?
An antonym is a combination of words, usually only two words, with opposite meanings. Although the two words are often antonyms (words with opposite meanings), they are not mutually exclusive.
However, if you think carefully about the meaning, you will realize that on the surface it is completely meaningless.
When these words are combined, they create a speech character with a whole new meaning.
The word antonym is derived from a late Greek word. in greek, oxy mean sharp or keen, and swamps It means foolish or boring. together, ambivalence It means “obviously foolish”.
Now that we know the definition of an antonym, let’s look at some examples.
What are examples of contradictions?
There are many contradictory examples that you may encounter in your daily life. If you enjoy seafood, you might have tried big lark.
Shrimp means small and jumbo means large, but when combined, this contrast refers to prawns that are larger than average.
When you order your jumbo shrimp, you may hope there will be open bar.
This paradoxical contrast means unlimited free drinks, but, by definition, the bar keeps something closed — as opposed to open.
Have you ever played on the Oculus Rift? that it Virtual Reality the system.
Virtual reality is an oxymoron because “virtual” means that something is not real, but reality indicates that it is. Together, these words mean a very realistic virtual world.
An old woman might be talking about it adult children living in a mobile home.
If you are in school to become a teacher, you may have to spend a semester as a professional student teacher.
Or if you prefer a master’s degree, it would be a graduate.
My high school talisman was a stallion, so our math was called lady stallions. If you didn’t know, a stallion refers to a male horse.
you may eat vegan bacon And fresh frozen Fruit when you take work vacation. Just try not to get it freezer burn.
even if you were wise fool you can show real possibility.
I probably just said a joke to get in deafening silence as a response.
You will also find examples in history and current events. You will definitely hear some in everyday conversation.
Countries participate in Civil war or fight Holy wars to defend these Cold blood.
On the evening news, you may hear about escaped prisoner or arguing with a Foreigner.
A soldier may have been killed before friendly fire. Some stories may be old news!
As a child, you may have attended a sleepwear party where you played Practical jokes on your friends.
I might have tried behave yourself So no one will know what you are going to do. We just hope you never were uninvited guest!
As you can see, there are tons of inconsistencies in our dictionary. Here are some other things for your list:
- same difference
- awesome beauty
- the only option
- honest thief
- silent cry
- slight crunch
- small crowd
Can you think of any other examples?
Do oxymoron and cliché mean the same thing?
Several character contrasts are so commonly used that they have become cliched. However, the contradictory words themselves are not automatically clichés.
Although they can be effective if used intentionally, cliches can make your writing seem outdated and unimaginable.
ProWritingAid’s Cliché Check can help you identify them as they are easy to overlook.
In the example below, I could probably say “aristocrats” or “high-born”, both of which convey the same meaning without being vulgar.
Try Cliché Report with a free ProWritingAid account.
What is a contradiction in literature?
Oxymorons are often used in the literature. As a literary tool it can serve many functions. They can be used for emphasis, dramatic effect, or to highlight irony.
Paradoxical inconsistency can intentionally confuse the reader, or paradoxically, it can offer clarity. It can be used to express serious feelings or humor.
In short, antonym is a versatile literary tool. However, it is easy to confuse it with other devices that involve contrast or inconsistency.
What is the difference between a contradiction and a contradiction?
An antonym uses opposing or contradictory terms to create the figure of speech.
a paradox It is when two contradictory ideas are put together for the purposes of creating a comparison. At first, the contradiction may not make sense, but it causes a deeper reflection.
An example of contradiction in literature is from George Orwell animals farm.
The quote “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” may seem correct at first, but nothing can be more equal than anything else.
It really makes the reader think about the nature of equality.
What is the difference between antonym and irony?
Paradox is the difference between what the reader thinks should happen in a situation versus what actually happens.
It plays with readers’ expectations to bring up themes or stir up tension.
You can use an antonym to highlight the irony, but the irony isn’t specifically about a group of words. It can also be more situational.
An example of dramatic irony comes from the play Oedipus rex. Oedipus curses his father’s murderer, but does not know that he actually murdered his father and has cursed himself.
What is the difference between paradoxical paradox and paradox?
Contrast also uses opposing words or phrases such as an antonym, but it plays with the syntax to emphasize an idea.
A contradiction is not just a single phrase. Parallel structure is used in conjunction with opposing or unrelated words.
William Shakespeare uses an antithesis in this quote from village: “Give every man your ear, but a little of your voice; take the blame from every man, but keep your judgment.”
Each line uses a parallel structure and contrasting ideas.
What are some examples of inconsistencies in the literature?
Oxymoron is used frequently in the literature because it can serve many functions. In fact, some literary genres are contradictions in their own right.
Science FictionAnd magical realism, And historical fiction It’s all a contradiction in terms. These phrases combine to create an entirely new concept.
Shakespeare was adept at using paradox in his plays and poems. There are many examples in Romeo and JulietLike the following quotes.
“Parting is like sweet sadness. Sadness and sweet, though not directly opposites, are contradictory in their connotations.
Here’s a longer excerpt from the famous tragedy that uses multiple examples of oxymoron:
“Why then love quarrel! the love hate!
Oh anything, out of nothing first created!
the Heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Poorly shaped chaos into shapes that look good!
lead featherAnd shining smokeAnd Cold fire, sick health!
sleep awake-This is not what it is!
This love I feel I do not feel love in this.”
On Animal Farm, George Orwell used an antonym amidst a paradox: “All animals are equal, but some animals are equal. more equal from others.”
By definition, it is impossible for one thing to be more equal than another because equality means the same thing.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson uses three examples of contradiction in one sentence in King’s poems. Here is the famous quote from Lancelot:
“for him Honor rooted in shame stood and Faith is unfaithful Keep it falsely true. ”
He explains his dilemma in the story. In order to be loyal to King Arthur, his friend, he must betray his love to Jennifer, or vice versa.
In the classic Charlotte Bronte movie Jane AirSaint John describes his love for Rosamund as “delicious poison“.
Like Tennyson’s example above, this contradiction highlights Saint John’s dilemma in choosing between love and honor.
in a Fairies and the search for Earth foreverJill Carson Levine describes Vidya’s character as “loyal traitor“.
Contradictions are not only for classical literature. Keep reading for some more recent examples.
What are some examples of inconsistencies in pop culture?
Artist Andy Warhol once described himself as a Too superficial Person. Technically, one cannot be deep and superficial, because these words are contradictory.
There are plenty of other examples of oxymoron in pop culture. HBO’s hit book and series Big Little Lies He has a right to a contradiction in his title. There is a book called Kirker Butler cute ugly.
In 2018, a documentary about illegal immigrants in the United States appeared. he was called daydream.
Hollywood hits Night of the Living DeadAnd true lies, And Definitely can All are examples of a verbal contradiction.
John Legend’s song “All of Me” has a catchy verse with an antonym:
We all love you all
All your curves and all your edges
all yours perfect imperfections. “
’90s kids may remember the paradoxical (and often downright stupid!) dog cat.
These same kids may have grown up listening to the song “Fall Out Boy”alone togetherOr Kelly Clarkson.beautiful disaster“.
Perhaps their parents would have preferred Simon and Garfunkel’s”sound of silenceor the Beatleshard day night“.
In fact, Simon and Garfunkel’s classic pieces contain some strong contradictions in their lyrics:
“People Speaking without listening
People listening without hearing“
These are just a few examples of antonyms from pop culture. Hear more examples from your music playlists or Netflix queue.
Dear reader, parting is a beautiful sadness, but we hope that now you understand how contrasting words take opposing words and turn them into new characters in speech.
From William Shakespeare to Fall Out Boy, you can see how diverse an antonym is as a literary device. Can you think of more fun examples?
Take your writing to the next level: