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Oxymoronica: Paradoxical Wit and Wisdom from History's Greatest Wordsmiths
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Oxymoronica: Paradoxical Wit and Wisdom from History's Greatest Wordsmiths

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  507 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
ox-y-mor-on-i-ca (OK-se-mor-ON-uh-ca) noun, plural: Any variety of tantalizing, self-contradictory statements or observations that on the surface appear false or illogical, but at a deeper level are true, often profoundly true. See also oxymoron, paradox.


"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad."
Victor Hugo

"To lead the people, walk behind them."

"You'd be s
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Collins (first published March 2004)
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May 08, 2008 Erica rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Quotation addicts, fans of the ironic, and the extremely patient.
Shelves: nonfiction
I learned from this book that I really hate it when an author tells me what something is "really" saying. I don't like to be spoon-fed, apparently. I love quotation compilations and the absurd. I thought this book was written just for me! Turns out, it was written just to showcase how clever the author is. Sigh. I want to be the clever one. I want to read the collected quotations exemplifying the ideal of the oxymoron, and chuckle quietly, silently congratulating myself on my ability to "get it. ...more
Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen
This is a great quote book, if you go in for quote books, which I do. I didn't get a chance to read all of it before I had to turn it back in to the library. It isn't really something you sit down and read like a novel, but it is fun to pick it up and peruse once in a while. A worthy reference. I love a good paradox, don't you?
May 24, 2015 Chelsey rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
Lots of good quotes, not too crazy 'bout the author.
Feb 19, 2007 Rk rated it liked it
Recommends it for: quotation lovers
After a great deal of research, I stumbled upon a neat book on quotes.

Oxymoronica , a word coined by Dr Mardy Grothe , a psychologist, author of “Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you” , has come up with a book of same name, containing paradoxical wit and wisdom from greatest wordsmiths.

Oxymoronica is a superset and mixture of paradox, oxymoron, chiasmus, as author says. I felt it also encapsulates irony, sarcasm and many other things. Author goes on to define oxymoronicas to convey deepe
Zack Nelson
May 03, 2016 Zack Nelson rated it liked it
"Oxymoronica" by Mardy Grothe is a great collection oxymoronic quotes and statements. I really liked all of the quotes. Many of them made me think about them for a while, while some of them made me laugh out loud and tell my friends about them. Like the quote, "I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung up by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the panes of glass with its claws." That was pretty funny. There were some things that I did not like about the book. One t ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
Bookworms, meet your new favorite wordworm: Mardy Grothe. A psychologist by trade, this language lover culled about 1,400 oxymoronic phrases for "Oxymoronica" from his growing collection numbering near 10,000. Packaging them into chapters thematically makes for a satisfying reflection on the quotations of an eclectic mix of history's authors, philosophers, actors, and other memorable dynamos.

Read with a pencil in hand and unsparingly star your favorites. Even before I'd finished the book, I was
Richard Thompson
A lot of good quotes from the "Great Wordsmiths", but a lot that didn't strike as particularly witty or wise. Grothe's comments and explanations added only marginally to the book.

Last month I started a new project on our blog: The Random Book Project. OXYMORONICA was the second book featured.

14. MemoryWalk: The upper parking lot at The Bay. As we enter the store on the main floor, we pass a notice: PARK IN THE UPPER PARKING LOT. “There's an oxymoron for y
Betsy Ashton
Jan 08, 2013 Betsy Ashton rated it it was amazing
I am a wordsmith. Dr. Mardy Grothe is also a wordsmith and a collector of oxymorons. This collection is a must for all lovers of paradox and all writers who look for the right word in the right place.

From the common oxymorons we all know (jumbo shrimp, military intelligence) to those who from great writers, this book demands to be read and laughed over. One early entry, less is more, sets the tone from the beginning. You'll find quotes from Chuang-Tsu to Lao-Tsu, from Yogi Berra to Shakespeare.
Mar 11, 2009 Heather rated it liked it
Recommends it for: quote lovers
Recommended to Heather by: Newseum bookstore
Shelves: nonfiction
Dr. Mardy Grothe has put together a great little collection of wit. His introduction and discussions are a little pedantic but I like the background detail. Since this is a collection of quotes you don't really sit down and read it cover to cover. It's the type of book that you like to have around to browse and laugh with occasionally. It has some of the best examples of wit and wordplay from the western world and I highly recommend it to those who enjoy clever observations of life and society.
Fabio Osorio
Nov 18, 2011 Fabio Osorio rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! If you are interested in the clever and inadvertently clever use of language, you will enjoy Oxymoronica. The chapters are organized into general categories and I especially enjoyed the ones on Politics and Family Life. I think the book would be an excellent resource for attorneys, pastors, teachers and anyone interested in public speaking.
Oct 11, 2008 Megan rated it liked it
What a clever little collection... once you get past the introduction. I wish Grothe had spent less time bragging about his intelligence and more page space with quotes. He has amassed a fun bunch of oxymora and paradoxical quotes but his pretentiousness is annoying and rampant throughout. Just read the emboldened witticisms and forget the rest!
Jul 30, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about appreciating oxymoron statements by others..after having an understanding from the first few pages.. I would suggest spending an hour or so reading...but I can create my was good to appreciate that I don't talk in riddles and many others share this profound way of expressing oneself.
Sep 01, 2007 Silva rated it really liked it
I was given this book as a birthday gift, it took me several years of just flipping through it to actually sit down and read it as a book.

Once I started reading it, I was able to appreciate better the explanations and example quotations that the author was putting out. I found it to be humorous and would recommend it to anyone fascinated by quotes or word meanings.
Jul 07, 2014 Monique rated it liked it
Interesting book about oxymorons in all types of situations: politics, psychology, etc.Quotes from the authors of interesting oxymorons are included, some of them quite funny. Interesting as a reference.
Aug 29, 2010 Jessica rated it it was ok
54 books/2010

A good littl book filled with interesting research and facebook-status-brilliant quotes. However...there was too much commentary/introduction by the author. Like he had to explain an oxymoron only about a bajillion times.
Jul 10, 2013 Cyndie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cyndie by: Beverly Sabino
Shelves: own
Sometimes paradoxes help make obscure concepts make sense. This book is filled with seemingly contradictory phrases and quotations like "Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it." ~ Montaigne. A great little book for witticisms about every aspect of life and art.
Jan 19, 2011 Jeni rated it really liked it
I love quote books, but what sets this one apart is the collection of paradoxical wisdom through the ages that Mr. Grothe has collected. Chapters deal with different subjects, and each quote has a twist that at first glance may make no sense, but upon further thought reveals truth.
Steve Clark
This is an enjoyable read from the author of Don't Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You. It's a good read for anyone who likes language or quotations.
Oct 25, 2013 SonyaA. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
This is a great book of collection of paradoxical wisdom. I recommend to everyone who wants to read awesome paradoxical quotations.
Jun 25, 2010 Stacy rated it liked it
Not as good as "Eats, Shoots and Leaves," but still had some great quotes. Took me awhile to get through it.
Mar 26, 2011 Edmund rated it really liked it
Pithy, profound, laugh-out-loud funny at times, and easily the most entertaining quotation book that I've encountered. As Dolly Parton said, "You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap."
Mar 09, 2016 Lynda rated it it was amazing
Usually I keep this kind of book for short reads in the restroom, but this was so good that I couldn't leave it alone.
Anna Hanson
May 09, 2014 Anna Hanson rated it really liked it
Entertaining and thought-provoking, with plenty of fodder for further consideration. Chock-full of useful quotes, too!
Jul 18, 2008 Bret rated it liked it
This book is amusing in a "flip it open to a random page and read a few sort of way." Not exactly the type of work you want to read from cover to cover.
Jul 16, 2014 C.J. rated it liked it
Fairly witty, fleeting entertainment, flippant and fun for any word-warbler -- or wondering mental flaneur.
Dec 28, 2012 Trudy rated it it was amazing
Delightfully informative and thought-provoking on many levels, this is a great coffee-table (or bathroom) book. It has elicited many an interesting conversation in my home.
E.v. Sage
Feb 15, 2015 E.v. Sage rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For those who love wordplay and don't mind a little mental bending to understand wtf that person said.
Peter Arango
Peter Arango rated it really liked it
Jun 05, 2014
Yeji Lee
Yeji Lee rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2010
Andi rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2014
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