You have to love the English language. We’ve been dumbing it down gradually for years and guys like Donald Trump have lowered the bar to depths I would never have imagined. And our language is rife with oxymorons. The word is derived from two Greek words, “oxus”, meaning sharp, and “moros” meaning dull, so the word itself is an oxymoron. If you ask most people to tell you an oxymoron many will immediately say “jumbo shrimp” because jumbo means large and shrimp denotes small so, like sharp dull we have large small.
However, we think of jumbo shrimp as the larger size of this small crustacean so in colloquial usage maybe it isn’t really an oxymoron. One I’ve always liked is “near miss” which, when you think about it, means if you nearly missed something you actually hit it. If you see a sign in a mall that indicates a “down escalator”, that’s definitely an oxymoron because the word escalate means to advance upward, not downward. What about ‘final draft”? Actually, wouldn’t that be the last beer just before closing time? Is “student teacher” an oxymoron? That would be a “definite maybe” because a student is a learner and a teacher teaches while a student teacher is a person who is learning how to teach. When you sit down and ponder the dozens of oxymorons we use you come to the “initial conclusion”, which I guess comes before the final conclusion that our language can be weird. Now I’m running out of time and besides, I’m “drawing a blank” as far as coming up with any more good examples so I’ll leave and go figure out exactly how one goes about “drawing” a “blank”.