Monday, July 09, 2007

A curious turn of phrase

Why do we speak of a "meteoric rise"? Meteors, if they do anything, fall and burn up in the atmosphere.

3 Comments:

Anonymous \Mike said...

Ah, weird words and oxymorons. My favorite however must be the Swedish "jätteliten" = "very small"/"very tiny", but literally it is a compound of "jätte" (=giant) and "liten" (=small)....

10 July, 2007 05:00  
Blogger Dvortygirl said...

You can do something similar in Spanish: take the word "grande" (large) and add the diminutive suffix -ito for the self-contradictory "grandito", or "a little large." Most of the good oxymorons in English are juxtapositions of two or more words.

Hi, by the way. I guess if I only have 10 regular readers, at least they're on 4 continents. :)

13 July, 2007 22:51  
Anonymous Liz Henry said...

I never thought of that, but now it's going to drive me crazy until I think of several plausible explanations and spend half an hour googling...

06 September, 2007 12:46  

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