Oxymorons: 'And now for our morning matinée..'

While JD spends his days plying his trade in the engine room we used to share I've fallen into bad habits, such as watching too much daytime TV. Most of it slides into one ear and out t'other but this morning I caught a presenter introducing what turned out to be a dismal Randolph Scott western with the phrase: "And now for our morning matinée..."

This had me smirking because everyone knows that a matinée is an afternoon performance so a morning matinée is, like military intelligence, an oxymoron*. The funny thing is that matin being French for morning, the English usage of the word matinée is in itself a solecism, if you happen to be a Frenchman (perish the thought).

While I had my OED Concise to hand I looked up the word oxymoron to find it's derived from the Greek words oxy (sharp) and moros (dull) so the word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron, which will hardly be a coincidence.

From the numerous lists of oxymorons online I culled a few that, while not necessarily accurate, made me smile:

  • accordion music
  • active retirement
  • airline food
  • French resistance
  • German humour
  • American culture
  • adult male (courtesy of Mrs Apus)

* Confession: With my brain softened from inactivity I couldn’t bring the word oxymoron to mind. Fortunately JD’s younger, more agile mind was only a phone call away.


JD (The Engine Room) said...

...and it took me five minutes to think of the word – even after you'd told me it began with the letter 'o'!

Apus, I've fiddled with the formatting of your post a little, hope that's not too presumptuous of me.

One of my favourite oxymorons (if indeed it be one) is 'act natural'.

And I didn't know that 'oxymoron' was itself an oxymoron, so thanks for that.

Steve Gale said...

It's good to see that Apus hasn't given up using his brain for things other than recognising food and drink and where to put it. Greetings, old chum!

J.D. Long said...

Hmmmm . . . I was going to object to "American Culture," but on relfection, it is something more like a buffet.

Interesting blog. I'll be watching here from South Texas; which is Not an oxymoron, Thank You.


Apus said...

Mr Long, thanks for taking my frivolous inclusion of US culture in good part. As a lifelong lover of SF, fantasy and rock 'n' roll I could hardly fail to be a fan of much of your country's culture – Buddy Holly and Robert E Howard both hailed from the Lone Star State so it's good to have at least one Texican reader.

Apus said...

Greetings to you too windy; when are you coming down to buy me a beer? JD, as always, your input is as beneficial as it is welcome (and please see my remark to Mr Gale re beer).