Oxymorons can be fun. Two words that can have contradictory meaning are put together to create a new phrase. Or it can be expanded to mean two separate thoughts or ideas that are in direct conflict with each other but when combined create something new.
For example, if you’ve ever worked in a cubicle you can see the humor in the description “office space.”
Please try to avoid using them in your novel or non-fiction work. Like clichés they can make you sound kind of silly. Unless you are Shakespeare who wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” Then you sound brilliant. Also in that same play he wrote, “O brawling love! O loving hate! . . .O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”
Even historians created one that is a head scratcher when you think about it. The Civil War. How can war be civil?
You, as someone who is serious about their craft, need to watch out for ones that have become part of our everyday speech like “ill health” or “passive aggressive” or “random order” or “found missing.” You get the idea.
There is a web site that has a list of hundreds of oxymorons: www.oxymoronlist.com
Enjoy this clever two minute video on the topic. And make sure to watch passed the credits through to the end.