For added punch in a sentence, the use of oxymoron is effective. An oxymoron has contradictory words placed close to each other and they tend to make the listener prick up his ears!


Here are some examples:


Agree to disagree

To remain friendly with each other while having different opinions. 


After a lengthy discussion on the pros and cons, both sets of football fans agree to disagree on who is the best footballer in the world.


Busy idleness

Spending one’s time and effort doing things of insignificant value or importance.

Busy refers to having “no free or idle time” and idleness means to “while away time without purpose”.

Used together, the two words imply energy spent on trivial matters.


The retired government servant spends time in busy idleness, chatting for long hours with other retirees.


Include me out

To be excluded from whatever is being proposed.


Please include me out for the holiday trip to England. I’m short of money.


Backwards coming forward

Inclined to avoid interacting with people due to uneasiness in company and lack of self-confidence.

Backwards can be taken to mean reluctant, while forward means being eager. The two words together thus suggests being shy and introverted.


The little boy is backwards at coming forward in communicating and mingling with his kindergarten classmates.


Accidentally on purpose

Doing something intentionally but making it look like it’s unintentional.

This expression suggests a disguised intention, often with a desire to harm others.


The footballer deftly kicked his opponent’s leg in such a way that it appeared to be unintentional to the referee, but the aggrieved victim knew that it was done accidentally on purpose.


Expect the unexpected

Be prepared for any eventuality.

Life is full of uncertainties. Nothing is certain till it has happened, and what we expect to happen may not come to pass.


When predicting the weather, be ready to expect the unexpected.




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