During high school (and now), I was quite the class clown.
I had quite a theatrical English teacher one year – his name was Mr. Morgan. Most of my time with Mr. Morgan was spent outside the classroom because I couldn't appreciate Shakespeare. It drove Mr. Morgan crazy.
On one occasion when Mr. Morgan asked, in his swanky Yale-ish accent, what types of literary techniques Shakespeare used in Hamlet, I anxiously raised my hand.
Mr. Morgan sighed, “Yes, Mr. Karr?”
“Oxymorons”, I replied.
“Oxymorons?” droned Mr. Morgan, “Do you even know what an oxymoron is, Mr. Karr?”
“Sure!” I said, “It's the juxtaposition of antithetical terms in an expression, Mr. Morgan.”
Though I was correct, Mr. Morgan still couldn't grow to appreciate my sense of humor and he showed me the door. It did get quite a laugh from the class (after the initial gasp of hearing multi-syllable words coming from my mouth).
I've never forgotten the definition for an oxymoron… and I'm surprised at their excessive and, perhaps, growing usage when marketing technology today. If you want to sound like you have a really cool product or service, throw in an oxymoron into your marketing or technology presentation. It appears folks love it nowadays. In fact, quite a few of these are now in Geekipedia.
- Agile Development – Those developers are funny. The release is still late.
- Application Programming Interface – as if the application programs itself.
- Artificial Intelligence – it's not artificial, it's real.
- Energy Alternatives – the only alternative to energy is dark matter.
- Friendly URL – what's a mean URL?
- Internet Radio – if it's on the Internet, it's not radio
- $100 Laptop – energy? Internet access?
- Net Neutrality – anyone ever hear of Akamai or S3?
- User Interface – it's still for the computer, not me.
- Search Engine Marketing – it's not marketing (sorry), it's placement.
- Seamless Integration – if it's integrated, it means there is a seam somewhere.
What's your favorite oxymoron?