A Note on Morons and Oxymorons
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 9 Aug 2021
A moron means a stupid or foolish person. There are some rich persons or those who occupy high positions in society who think that most people that they come in contact with are morons. But I am going to talk of oxymoron: a word or phrase that is a contradiction in itself. For example, the phrases: happily married, honest politician or deafening silence are common examples of oxymoron. Let me shorten the word calling it XM.
How does the first example of happily married become an XM? I will explain it later.
A question that arises is when the word moron is well defined, how does adding the three letters oxy to it, make the word mean what it means. It is a mean question and I don’t know the answer; but I will jokingly write that oxy is a short form of oxygen that is needed and essential for life, but moron means a stupid or foolish person. By giving the person oxygen does the person become less stupid or less foolish?
There is a well known person in India who writes a weekly column on this topic although he writes or speaks on other issues too. He feels that United Nations is also an XM since nations are usually disunited. He also feels that civil war is an XM — how can war which causes killings and devastation be civil?
I feel that current history would also fall in this category because history is past — a knowledge or chronicle of past events, not present situation. Of course, some people would differ and feel that the above expression is well understood and there should be no debate about its meaning. Other opposites are old news and working vacation.
In India, films are a common means of entertainment and relaxation for millions of people — in the absence of sufficient number of sports, vacations, etc. Several films are classified as comedies but then some publicists add the word tragic. How do we have a tragic comedy or shorten it to tragicom? Does this expression become an XM? There is another expression for a type of film called romcom (romantic comedy) but this is not an XM.
There are other examples of opposing cultures or beliefs: A Muslim who learns Arabic in India, being a scholar of Sanskrit language. A woman having a limited amount of money overspending on clothes or fashionable items beyond her resources. How does she manage this problem? Simple. It is not her who manages but her husband or boyfriend who has to manage. That is the reason why happily married is an XM. If she is not married, then boyfriend may become a bye bye friend.
Of course, there are a few women who hold high positions in government or the corporate sector. For them, spending large amounts of money is common. I think it is common with them and it becomes their second nature. There was a woman First Lady in a neighbouring country who had about four thousand pairs of footwear. If she wore one pair per day, how long would it take to wear all the pairs? Even a moron could have calculated the answer.
Enough of morons and oxymorons. If I continue in this vein, I am likely to become a moron myself.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Aug 2021.
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