One of the most interesting and colourful aspects of English is perhaps the oxymoron. The word oxymoron comes from the Greek word «oksús», meaning sharp, and the word «mōros», meaning foolish. The entomology of the word, however, doesn’t explain what on Earth they are. Can you explain what «clearly confused» means? What about «awfully good», or «terribly interesting»?
Oxymorons are figures of speech with two very different ideas, often positive and negative, these words appear to contradict each other. Oxymorons are used to add flavour or drama to descriptions. Some of the most well-known include:
The same difference
In the 90’s a band called «The Verve» sang a song called «Bittersweet Symphony» which described life from one perspective.
Shakespeare wrote about the «sweet sorrow» of a couple saying goodnight, in his work — «Romeo and Juliet».
My challenge to you is to explore some of these phrases yourself and see if you can understand their meaning, then start to use them in your English.