Minor Catastrophes

I recently ordered a new phone case. A few days later, I received an email apologizing for the delay: “We’ve been experiencing some minor catastrophes in our facility.” I couldn’t help but smile. A catastrophe by its very definition is not minor. I hadn’t heard this particular oxymoron before. And yet, on the day I received the email, I was having a few minor catastrophes of my own. Somehow it was an apt description of my day too.

Oxymorons can be fun to discuss and explore with students: deafening silence, virtual reality, jumbo shrimp, seriously funny, pretty ugly, bittersweet… invite students to create their own awfully good oxymorons. If they do, please share!

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