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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 ·  491 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.

examples:

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

"To lead the people, walk behind them."
Lao-tzu

"You'd be s
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Collins (first published March 2004)
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Erica
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
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
Megan
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!
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?
Chelsey
May 24, 2015 Chelsey rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
Lots of good quotes, not too crazy 'bout the author.
Katie
Jan 27, 2014 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
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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. http://sharppencil.squarespace.com/jo... 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
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Rk
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
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Monique
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.
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.
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C.J.
Jul 16, 2014 C.J. rated it liked it
Fairly witty, fleeting entertainment, flippant and fun for any word-warbler -- or wondering mental flaneur.
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!
Zach Usi
Jun 12, 2014 Zach Usi rated it really liked it
a really fun collection of quotes.
Ben Kline
Oct 16, 2015 Ben Kline rated it liked it
A nice collection of quotes, quick, easily readable. Amusing but nothing spectacular or amazing.
Cha
Jan 13, 2016 Cha rated it it was amazing
Good read!!
Heather
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.
Fishface
Jan 29, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, non-book
A fun read! Not as deep as I was promised in the jacket blurb, but you can't have everything.
Silva
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.
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.
Claudia
Aug 20, 2014 Claudia rated it liked it
Most interesting, and a trove of sayings!
David
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 own...it was good to appreciate that I don't talk in riddles and many others share this profound way of expressing oneself.
Cyndie
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.
Jeni
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.
Jessica
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.
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.
Edmund
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."
Tanvi Chaturvedi
May 19, 2014 Tanvi Chaturvedi rated it really liked it
Peanuts!
Trudy
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.
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.
Bret
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.
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