Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Today's oxymorons

I LOVE OXYMORONS. If you do too, you might look at Oxymoron List. And there's another Oxymoron List (this one is .net). Or And there's Ethan's oxymoron page. Or The Internet's Best List of Oxymoron's. (Take note, though, that it should be Oxymorons, not Oxymoron's. It's not possessive.)

My favorite oxymorons? As a sports fan, I'd have to say "ball club" is up there. The term is used for a sports team (perhaps the New York Yankees), but a ball is one thing, and a club is another. Actually, you club a baseball with a bat. As a former auto-racing writer, "race-car motor" is up there. A race car usually has an engine of 500 horsepower or more. I remember NASCAR drivers talking about a 750-HP Cup engine as a "motor." I think of a 12-HP lawnmower motor as a motor. Anything with more than 500 HP has to be an engine.

I wonder ... can you have a 12-ounce pound cake? Wouldn't it be 16 ounces?

And are adult children adults or children? Or both?


Sock is one of those great words (apparently derived from the Latin word soccus, slipper). It's an article of clothing to cover the foot. If you sock me in the jaw, it's a bad thing (I'll sock you back). If you sock it to me (as they used to say on TV's Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In), it would be a good thing. There's a wind sock or windsock (a device designed to indicate wind direction and relative wind speed). And if you sock a home run in baseball, well, that's a great thing.

Any more uses for the word sock?

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