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