Superficial oxymorons

A John Atkinson Wrong Hands cartoon:

An assortment of expressions (almost all Adj + N) that might at first glance seem to be internally contradictory — that is, oxymorons — but which are nevertheless sensical.

It would be a useful exercise to go through these examples and show how they gain their meaning.

(Note: there is now a Page on this blog on John Atkinson cartoons.)

One Response to “Superficial oxymorons”

  1. Joseph F Foster Says:

    I note that civil war is one of the items, meant here no doubt as a generic. As to a common name for the War Between the States, one of my Great Grandfathers was a participant, in the 3rd Arkansas Infantry, Ist Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. He was at Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Spottsylvania, &c, and one of the few left to stack arms at Appomattox. He died before I was born so I never knew him, but the family story is that he always objected to calling that Recent Unpleasantness a “civil war”, because “There warn’t nothin’ civil about it.!”

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