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What is the meaning of "oxymoron"?

(C. Kanthi, Secunderabad)

"Bitter sweet" is an example of an oxymoron. Here we have a combination of two words ("bitter" and "sweet"), which mean exactly the opposite. An oxymoron is usually defined as a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are brought together. This is usually done to create an effect. A "wise fool" and "make haste slowly" are other examples. If the Americans don't find the weapons of mass destruction soon, it is very likely "American intelligence" will become an example of an oxymoron as well!

S. UPENDRAN

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