This week, the retirement of a media mogul made me realize that his empire helped to grow a movement that relies on populist hate of elites. On a network built by a billionaire.
Something of an oxymoron, don’t you think?
Oxymorons are rhetorical devices that juxtapose two terms with opposite meanings.
Examples are phrases like “organized chaos,” “jumbo shrimp,” and sadly, “business ethics.”
The term oxymoron was first recorded as Latinized Greek oxymōrum, c. 400 A.D. by Maurus Servius Honoratus aka Servius the Grammarian (he should be our patron saint here at “Off the Clock”).
It is derived from the Greek word ὀξύς (oksús), meaning “sharp, keen, or pointed” and μωρός (mōros), meaning “dull, stupid, foolish.”
The concept stuck and even today, oxymorons surround us daily.
At the museum:
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