As a regular contributor to BlogMutt’s business writing service, I have often considered how their motto,”We Work Like a Dog to Fill your Blog,” is a contradiction wrapped in an oxymoron. I’ll get to that, but first, I need to go over what an oxymoron is.
Oxymoron is one of my favorite words. The word combines the Greek terms oxy, which means sharp, and moros, which means dull. So the word oxymoron is an oxymoron. The term, however, should not be confused with other literary devices that provide apparent contradiction, such as in Shakespeare, who uses terms like “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” That is not an oxymoron.
It is more of an intended opposition to provide irony or even humor. Oxymorons are, rather, a subset of what are known as contradictions in terms. To qualify as an oxymoron, a term has to be comprised of totally incongruous and closely placed elements. For example, accurate estimate, arrogant humility, authentic replica are all oxymoronic statements. In each preceding term we have a noun modified by an adjective that absolutely reverses the meaning of the term.
In my research for this piece, I also engaged in some oxymoronic behavior. I used the (gasp!) Wikipedia research site. (The oxymoron here is Wikipedia research.) To further this oxymoron, the Wikipedia article had the following caveat: “This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards.” Since Wikipedia is the site other research sites laugh at, we have an oxymoron within an oxymoron. To be fair, I did find an interesting tidbit or two in the Wikipedia’s piece. Namely: the use of the term oxymoron is sometimes for the purpose of satire or ridicule. We have heard the term, for example “Microsoft Works, government efficiency, civil war.”
So, anyone who thinks that he or she is almost ready to provide an approximate solution to something in bad health is engaging in excessive oxymorons. I do not mean to be constructively negative when I say that one should approach the use of contradicting terms with, as George Carlin once said, “all deliberate speed.”
That could get pretty ugly and one could end up in the quandary described by Tennyson: “And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.”
Looking for more than a few good writers who will take over your blogging burden? Contact us. BlogMutt’s motto is that oxymoron I discussed above: “We work like a dog to fill your blog.”
The only dogs we know who work are way up in Alaska pulling sleds in the snow or chasing sheep around elsewhere. (Neither realize they are working, actually.) The dogs most people are familiar with spend their entire waking lives actively anticipating food. They don’t even clean up after themselves.
But the writing service had to have something to rhyme with “blog.” And dog works.
Editor’s Note: This blog is an example of the kind of writing you can get for your blog. The only thing that’s different is that it has the name of the writer. For your blog, you can say you wrote it. That’s fine with us. We’re happy mutts. Click here for more explanation of this series of posts.