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Miscellaneous Oxymora Quotations

The following are phrases and various quotes which appear to be oxymoronic.

  • A little pain never hurt anyone.
  • “A unified, neutral Germany? Given that nation’s heritage, such a phrase may prove to be the oxymoron of the decade.” -Kevin M. Matarese, Fulda, West Germany; as seen in “Letters”, Time magazine, p. 5, March 5, 1990.
  • A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Include me out. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • Christ was born in 4 B.C.
  • Cum tacent, clamant. When they are silent, they shout. -Cicero
  • Gentlemen, I want you to know that I am not always right, but I am never wrong. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • Goes (Went) over like a lead balloon.
  • Honk if you are against noise pollution!
  • I’ll give you a definite maybe. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • I’m not going to say, “I told you so.”
  • I am a deeply superficial person. -Andy Warhol
  • I’m proud of my humility.
  • I can resist everything but temptation. -Mark Twain
  • If Roosevelt were alive, he’d turn over in his grave. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • If I could drop dead right now, I’d be the happiest man alive! -Samuel Goldwyn
  • If you fall and break your legs, don’t come running to me. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • I never put on a pair of shoes until I’ve worn them five years. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • It isn’t an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
  • It’s more than magnificent-it’s mediocre. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • May I ask a question?
  • No one goes to that restaurant anymore-it’s always too crowded. (attributed to Yogi Berra)
  • Our comedies are not to be laughed at. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • Parting is such sweet sorrow. -William Shakespeare
  • Procrastination means never having to say you’re sorry.
  • “Professional certification for car people may sound like an oxymoron.” -The Wall Street Journal, page B1, Tuesday, July 17, 1990.
  • Referring to a book: I read part of it all the way through. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • Smoking is the leading cause of statistics.
  • Some bachelors want a meaningful overnight relationship.
  • Talking about a piece of movie dialogue: Let’s have some new cliches. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • The scene is dull. Tell him to put more life into his dying. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • Thank God I’m an atheist.
  • This report is filled with omissions.
  • We are not anticipating any emergencies.
  • We’re overpaying him, but he’s worth it. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
    And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
    -Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • The good oxymoron, to define it by a self-illustration, must be a planned inadvertency. -Wilson Follett
  • An Irishman is never at peace except when he’s fighting.
  • I marvel at the strength of human weakness.
  • Always be sincere, even when you don’t mean it. -Irene Peter
  • Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -Josh Billings
  • Of course I can keep secrets. It’s the people I tell them to that can’t keep them. -Anthony Haden-Guest
  • The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. -W.C. Fields
  • I distinctly remember forgetting that. -Clara Barton
  • We must believe in free will. We have no choice. -Isaac B. Singer
  • I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
  • Monotheism is a gift from the gods.
  • After they got rid of capital punishment, they had to hang twice as many people as before.
  • I never liked you, and I always will. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • Why don’t you pair ‘em up in threes? -Yogi Berra
  • Our similarities are different. -Dale Berra, son of Yogi
  • After Donald Trump’s stretch limousine was stolen and found undamaged a few blocks away; he said, “Nothing was stolen. I had an honest thief.”-International Herald Tribune, page 3, March 2, 1992
  • Some bird populations soaring down -Headline of an article in Science News, page 126, February 20, 1993.
  • Most bacteria have the decency to be microscopic. Epulopiscium fishelsoni is not among them. The newly identified one-celled macro-microorganism is a full .5 mm long, large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Described in the current Nature, “It is a million times as massive as a typical bacterium.”-Time, page 25, March 29, 1993
  • “Triumph without Victory, The Unreported History of the Persian Gulf War”, -Headline published in the U.S. News & World Report, 1992.
  • An empty cab drove up and Sarah Bernhardt got out. -Arthur Baer, American comic and columnist
  • She used to diet on any kind of food she could lay her hands on. -Arthur Baer, American comic and columnist
  • The first condition of immortality is death. -Stanislaw Lec
  • As famous as the unknown soldier.
  • I must follow the people. Am I not their leader? -Benjamin Disraeli
  • Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history. -George Bernard Shaw
  • William Safire’s rules for writing as seen in the New York Times

    Do not put statements in the negative form.
    And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
    If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
    Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
    Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
    If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
    Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
    Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
    Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
    Last, but not least, avoid cliche’s like the plague.

  • Everyone writes on the walls except me. -Said to be graffiti seen in Pompeii
  • I tripped over a hole that was sticking up out of the ground.
  • I don’t think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead. -Samuel Goldwyn
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  • Evil isn’t all bad.
  • I disagree with unanimity.
  • “It’s a step forward although there was no progress.”
    President Hosni Murbarak of Egypt attempting to put the best face on a disappointing summit meeting between President Clinton and the Syrian dictator Hafez Assad.
  • “I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place. ” - Winston Churchill

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    You will also find the pleonasm list of interest.

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