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  #1  
Old 03-30-2000, 02:58 AM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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Once upon a time in grade school, I was told that this was a good example of an oxymoron. Jumbo and shrimp contradict each other right? Well, sort of. Shrimp refers to a fish, not a size. Is it still an oxymoron if the word has two meanings and the meaning used in the oxymoronic phrase is not contradictory of the other word in the phrase?

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  #2  
Old 03-30-2000, 03:24 AM
Danielinthewolvesden Danielinthewolvesden is offline
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Yes, I believe so. In any case it is better than the other commonly used oxymoron, ie "military intelligence". That's not an oxymoron, and is a very poor example, (It is kinda funny, tho, but only the 1st time you hear it).

I heard it as a double oxymoron:"fresh-frozen jumbo-shrimp".

Any better examples of REAL oxymorons?
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2000, 04:27 AM
TomH TomH is offline
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“Oxymoron”, strictly speaking, refers to a device in which two contradictory terms are deliberately put together for rhetorical effect. For example, “belatedly premature”, “slightly in love”, “imperial democracy”. By this standard, “jumbo shrimp” is not an oxymoron.

I don’t imagine that anybody hearing the phrase “jumbo shrimp” thinks that it means “a large small thing” rather than a large example of the sea creature, so I don’t see how there’s any incongruity at all. I suppose that “giant midget” would be an oxymoron, but I can’t imagine when you’d use it.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2000, 06:21 AM
Shagrath Borgir Shagrath Borgir is offline
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My favorite oxymoron:

Microsoft Works



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  #5  
Old 03-30-2000, 07:08 AM
Oblio Oblio is offline
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Just across the street from my office is a gas station/mini-mart called the 'Mini Giant'.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2000, 08:04 AM
Andy Andy is offline
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Yep, it's oxymoronic, they can't fly at all.

::deafening silence::
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2000, 02:43 PM
Jinx Jinx is offline
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Ok, the "jumbo shrimp" bit started as a joke by Carlin. It wasn't meant for literal transslation, but yes, it is a poor example.
"Military Intellegence" was also meant in a joking manner.

What about sanitary sewer?

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  #8  
Old 03-30-2000, 03:03 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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My boss is a hydromoron. I told him today, "You know, your hair gets pointy when you talk that way."



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  #9  
Old 03-30-2000, 03:03 PM
Boris B Boris B is offline
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Just some random, probably redundant, musings on oxymorons:

Most things identified as oxymorons are intended humorously.

The term oxymoron does not mean a contradiction in terms; rather, it means an apparent contradiction in terms. Whether or not it is an actual nonsensical pair of words is not predetermined. The first example I had heard was weeping optimists. If they're optimists, how can they be sad? Well, optimists look on the bright side of the future; maybe they're sad about the past. Or maybe they just got something in their eyes.

How about victorious defeat? Like, when you sue the school district for the right to dress like a nun, and you lose the case, but in doing so you tremendously raise the consciousness of the plight of nun-impersonators in our nation's schools.

Anyway, the point is, saying somebody made an oxymoron isn't really a criticism; it's only a criticism if they did it accidentally or if, upon further refection, it really doesn't make sense.
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2000, 04:32 PM
xekul xekul is offline
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Maybe this was local, but at my elementary school in Calgary around 1993 or so, ``shrimp'' almost always refered to a person of small stature. In that case, ``jumbo shrimp'' would be an oxymoron. That's how I always thought of it.

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  #11  
Old 03-31-2000, 08:11 AM
Cheese Head Cheese Head is offline
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http://www.oxymorons.com/oxymorons.html

airline food
Amtrak schedule
British fashion
business ethics
casual sex
cheerleading scholarship
Christian Scientists
friendly fire
rap music
war games
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2000, 01:49 PM
Beauxeau IX Beauxeau IX is offline
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I believe "deafening silence" would a common example of a real oxymorn.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2000, 02:09 PM
Cheese Head Cheese Head is offline
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The "Great Depression" has always amused me. What was so great about it?
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2000, 02:36 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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great adj.
1.Very large in size.
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2000, 03:23 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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"Jumbo Shrimp:" an orgy of toe-suckers.
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2000, 02:23 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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Also, a shrimp is not a fish. It's a crustacean.
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2000, 02:39 AM
Nekosoft Nekosoft is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by neutron star:
great adj.
1.Very large in size.
So if I went to a restaurant and had some great shrimp that would be an oxymoron? How about a bowl of steaming hot chili?
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2000, 07:25 PM
JBENZ JBENZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nekosoft:
How about a bowl of steaming hot chili?
--
Dojo. Casino.

That would be a triple redundancy, not an oxymoron. Culinary oxymorons include Heatless Jalapeno and Excess Garlic and British Cuisine.



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  #19  
Old 04-01-2000, 07:32 PM
meara meara is offline
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I believe he was thinking of steaming hot "chilly"
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2000, 06:26 PM
Danielinthewolvesden Danielinthewolvesden is offline
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See what I mean by many of the "oxymorons" being jokes & not oxymorons at all? Cheesehead posted a list of 10, 7 of which are only jokes, 2 of which are oxymorons (& 1 which is neither).
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  #21  
Old 05-02-2013, 12:22 PM
Jarvis 2000 Jarvis 2000 is offline
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The Ultimate Oxymoron

"Dream Job"
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  #22  
Old 05-02-2013, 12:26 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is online now
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Here's another one:

Reanimated zombie.
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  #23  
Old 05-02-2013, 01:43 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Wikipedia is your friend! Seriously, take a look at that article. It has a LOT of examples of "real" oxymorons. Among my favorites from there: bittersweet, guest host, open secret, sounds of silence
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  #24  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:31 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH View Post
...I suppose that “giant midget” would be an oxymoron, but I can’t imagine when you’d use it.
Minsc would argue (most violently) with your assertion, citing his beloved Boo the miniature giant space hamster as a counter-argument. But I guess you could argue that SANE people wouldn't use "miniature giant" or "giant midget". Or non-fictional people.
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  #25  
Old 05-02-2013, 02:44 PM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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From Wiley's Dictionary in "B.C.":

humidifier - hyoo-mid-uh-fahy-er - an Italian oxymoron.
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  #26  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:11 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I knew an Australian to whom the phrase was indeed an oxymoron since their word for shrimp is prawn. Until she discovered, living for a year in the US (New Orleans, no less) that "shrimp" meant "prawn".
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  #27  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:36 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
I knew an Australian to whom the phrase was indeed an oxymoron since their word for shrimp is prawn. Until she discovered, living for a year in the US (New Orleans, no less) that "shrimp" meant "prawn".
I'm actually a little surprised that an Australian wouldn't know the seafood meaning of shrimp. I understand that "prawn" is mostly used, but don't they refer to small prawns as "shrimp"? This Australian website seems to think so.
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  #28  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:59 PM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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Three-in-one, the US Army's MRE: Meal-Ready to-Eat.
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  #29  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:17 PM
Jragon Jragon is offline
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Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
Minsc would argue (most violently) with your assertion, citing his beloved Boo the miniature giant space hamster as a counter-argument. But I guess you could argue that SANE people wouldn't use "miniature giant" or "giant midget". Or non-fictional people.
I believe that in Baldur's Gate you can get a conversation with Elminster who says something along the lines of how Boo is in fact a Giant Space Hamster... who had a shrinking spell cast on him. In that way "miniature giant" makes sense, because fundamentally it is the species "Giant Space Hamster", but was altered to be miniaturized. One would presume that "giant space hamsters" have defining species characteristics apart from merely being larger than normal hamsters from space that Boo would have inherited.

(Though, regardless of any justification given in or out of universe, the name was clearly intended to make people laugh because of the apparent contradiction in terms).
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  #30  
Old 05-02-2013, 11:37 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Good grief! Another living dead thread!
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  #31  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:01 AM
guizot guizot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
Wikipedia is your friend! Seriously, take a look at that article.
Probably the most important part of that article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Although a true oxymoron is "something that is surprisingly true, a paradox," Garry Wills has argued that modern usage has brought a common misunderstanding[4] that oxymoron is nearly synonymous with contradiction. The introduction of this misuse, the opposite of its true meaning, has been credited to William F. Buckley.[5]

Sometimes a pair of terms is claimed to be an oxymoron by those who hold the opinion that the two are mutually exclusive. That is, although there is no inherent contradiction between the terms, the speaker expresses the opinion that the two terms imply properties or characteristics that cannot occur together.
And this misuse would never have happened if the term itself--being a rhetorical term from poetics--didn't sound esoteric.

In other words, the people who perpetuate these tired lists think they sound smart by using the "big" word; they probably wouldn't be feeling so clever and amusing by sending chain emails with the typical George Carlin inspired list if they couldn't also use the word oxymoron in the process--however incorrectly they use it.
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  #32  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:11 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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"Jumbo shrimp" is an oxymoron that is in common use and was before Carlin. He may have brought it to our attention that it was contradictory.

"Living in Philadelphia" is an oxymoron that is constructed only for a joke.

"Bittersweet" is not an oxymoron since sweet and bitter are two different tastes that can be experienced at the same time just as sweet and salty can be.

(Wiki is a friend only to help you get started researching something. It is not reliable.)
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  #33  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:15 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I'm actually a little surprised that an Australian wouldn't know the seafood meaning of shrimp. I understand that "prawn" is mostly used, but don't they refer to small prawns as "shrimp"? This Australian website seems to think so.
Yes, that's why "jumbo shrimp" is an oxymoron. Like tall dwarf.
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  #34  
Old 05-03-2013, 08:30 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
Yes, that's why "jumbo shrimp" is an oxymoron. Like tall dwarf.
OK, then it's not any different than in American English, which is why I was confused.
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  #35  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:36 AM
Molesworth 2 Molesworth 2 is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
OK, then it's not any different than in American English, which is why I was confused.
American English is itself an oxymoron. "Jumbo Prawn" is not.
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  #36  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:41 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by the_diego View Post
Three-in-one, the US Army's MRE: Meal-Ready to-Eat.
... that's not an oxymoron. Just not very descriptive (I assume that's what you're getting at).
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  #37  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:44 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Molesworth 2 View Post
American English is itself an oxymoron. "Jumbo Prawn" is not.
I have no idea what we're on about, then.
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  #38  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:50 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I have no idea what we're on about, then.
Never mind, I figured it out. It's even more a "true" oxymoron in Australian English.
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  #39  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:19 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is online now
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Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
Wikipedia is your friend! Seriously, take a look at that article. It has a LOT of examples of "real" oxymorons. Among my favorites from there: bittersweet, guest host, open secret, sounds of silence
I don't think the folks in 2000 were too likely to check Wikipedia.
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  #40  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:43 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Originally Posted by Zoe View Post
"Jumbo shrimp" is an oxymoron that is in common use and was before Carlin. He may have brought it to our attention that it was contradictory.)
But it's not contradictory in the slightest. "Large shellfish" is not a oxymoron, so "jumbo shrimp" -- which means exactly the same thing.

Yes, "shrimp" can mean "a small person," but "jumbo shrimp" always applies to the crustacean and nothing else.

Carlin (or whoever originally said it) was making a pun (or, I suppose, a malapropism) on the two definitions, but the example was meant as a joke and is still a joke -- i.e., not something to be taken seriously as a definition.
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  #41  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:46 PM
AGuy AGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Molesworth 2 View Post
American English is itself an oxymoron. "Jumbo Prawn" is not.
The thing about "jumbo shrimp" -- calling small people "shrimp" was inspired by the name for the shellfish, not the other way around. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=shrimp

A prawn, on the other hand, is "a marine crustacean which resembles a large shrimp." http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/prawn
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  #42  
Old 05-03-2013, 01:56 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Actual use of "giant dwarf". Identified as an oxymoron, no less.

And "bittersweet" isn't an oxymoron, but "bittersour" is. Or at least, it would be, if anyone ever actually used that word, which they don't.
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  #43  
Old 05-03-2013, 02:10 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Actual use of "giant dwarf". Identified as an oxymoron, no less.

And "bittersweet" isn't an oxymoron, but "bittersour" is. Or at least, it would be, if anyone ever actually used that word, which they don't.
Why would "bittersour" be more of an oxymoron than "bittersweet." If anything, they seem to be more related, as a lot of people confuse "bitter" tastes with "sour" tastes.
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  #44  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:50 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Originally Posted by Molesworth 2 View Post
American English is itself an oxymoron. "Jumbo Prawn" is not.

Wal, podnuh, y'all write Amurrican right well fer a furriner, 'ceptin' fer your tendenc to put an excess U in color, honor, humor, throw excess letters on the ends of program, catalog, etc., misspell and mispronounce the metallic component of bauxite, etc. Or was that comment supposed to be an example of that other oxymoron, "British wit"?
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  #45  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:57 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Also let me point out the Pratchett character Capt. Carrot Ironfoundersson,
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  #46  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:19 PM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Reality Chuck:...But it's not contradictory in the slightest. "Large shellfish" is not a oxymoron, so "jumbo shrimp" -- which means exactly the same thing.
But we're not saying that "jumbo shellfish" is an oxymoron. And yes, prawn and shrimp mean the same thing in one context. But in at least the US, "shrimp" also means "small." "Prawn" doesn't mean "small" that I am aware of. Jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron -- a contradiction in terms. "Prawn" and "shrimp" are two different words that sometimes mean the same thing. And shellfish is more comprehensive.

Most of the lists that I have reviewed on the internet are a mixture of a few oxymorons, seldom heard oxymorons, and non-oxymorons. But the oxymoron that I like best is common -- at least in the Southern United States: pretty ugly. We use "pretty" instead of the words "very" or "really" which is a common usage. But when it is combined with a word meaning the opposite of one of the meanings of pretty, it becomes an oxymoron.

Last edited by Zoe; 05-03-2013 at 09:22 PM..
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  #47  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:46 PM
SCAdian SCAdian is online now
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"Good morning."
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  #48  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:56 PM
tracer tracer is offline
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Good grief! Another living dead thread!
But "living dead" is an oxym--

... Oh, you little minx!
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  #49  
Old 05-04-2013, 04:01 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quoth pulykamell:

Why would "bittersour" be more of an oxymoron than "bittersweet." If anything, they seem to be more related, as a lot of people confuse "bitter" tastes with "sour" tastes.
I don't know why they're often confused, but "sour" is the taste of acids, and "bitter" is the taste of bases. A food of any pH can contain sugar or salt, but a food cannot be simultaneously basic and acidic.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:16 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I don't know why they're often confused, but "sour" is the taste of acids, and "bitter" is the taste of bases. A food of any pH can contain sugar or salt, but a food cannot be simultaneously basic and acidic.
Are you sure "bitter" is only related to pH? I've certainly had foods and drinks that were bitter and sour at the same time. Like chew some grapefruit with a bit of pith. You get sour and bitter, but I suppose you can chalk that up to two separate substances. Mix some wormwood with orange juice, and you get sweet, sour, and bitter all together, too.

According to Wikipedia

Quote:
Research has shown that TAS2Rs (taste receptors, type 2, also known as T2Rs) such as TAS2R38 are responsible for the human ability to taste bitter substances.[62] They are identified not only by their ability to taste certain bitter ligands, but also by the morphology of the receptor itself (surface bound, monomeric).[63]
The fact that there are supertasters who taste bitterness in certain compounds others don't suggests to me that it isn't primarily about the pH of a substance.

Or how about coffee? Coffee is acidic, but its flavor isn't usually described as sour, but bitter (and I would agree that it is bitter as opposed to sour.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-04-2013 at 04:19 PM..
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