Category Archives: Fun

Word Game: Can You Find the Oxymorons?

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A friend told me, “I want to listen to the news and know what’s going on in the world, but it’s really hard listening when the news is all bad.” She’s not alone. But, what if there were a word game to play, something fun to do while listening to all that bad news? Fun and bad news. Total opposites! Somewhat similar to an oxymoron—a figure of speech, usually one or two words, in which seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side. (organized mess, controlled chaos).

Without diminishing the importance of today’s news and current events, here’s a word game you can play while listening to the news. Following is a list of 100 oxymorons commonly heard in current news reports and news-related talk shows. When listening is difficult, focus on finding the words! See how long it takes before you’ve found them all.

A
alone together
altogether separate
anyone
anxious patient

B
ball diamond
bar opening
barely dressed (without a mask!)
behaving badly

C
checkpoint
clearly confused
conspicuous absence
constant change
constructive criticism
conventional wisdom
come away
criminal justice
civil war

“Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment.”—Learned Hand

D
defensive attack
disaster relief
doing nothing

E
easy task
emotional reasoning
extensive briefing

F
feeling numb
fine mess
forced choice
free will

G
global village
going nowhere
great depression

H
head butt
highly depressed
home office
hopelessly optimistic

“Words are potent weapons for all causes, good or bad.”—Manly Hall

I
ill health
increasing losses
incredibly real
initial results

J
job security
journalistic integrity
junk food

L
lonesome
loyal opposition 

M
mandatory option
missing here

N
new normal
never again

“How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.”—Herbert Spencer

O
occupied space
objective opinion
obstructed view
only choice
open bar
ordinary event
outcome 

“Words are the most powerful thing in the universe… Words are containers. They contain faith, or fear, and they produce after their kind.”—Charles Capps

P
passive resistance
peaceful offense
permanent change
personal business
political party
press release
pretty ugly
preposterous
private citizen
progressively worse

Q
qualitative data
questionable answer
quiet rage
quite unlikely

R
recorded live
required elective
restless sleep
riot control
rising deficit
roadblock
rough finish 

S
scale down
set off
short distance
slow speed
small army
social  distance
spectator sport
stand down
storehouse
strangely familiar

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” —John Keating

T
taped live
tax cut
tax free
tense calm
terribly good
true story 

U
unacceptable solution
unbiased opinion
unusual routine

V
very little
victimless crime

W
whenever
willful negligence

Y
young adult

Z
zero deficit

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Ten of the Best Cartoons About Writing

shes-a-writer-clean

Maybe you need a laugh today?
Here are ten of the best cartoons about writers and writing. 

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You might also like Ten of the Funniest Cartoons About Writing. I often post cartoons about writers and writing on my Facebook page . Come on over and see what’s new.

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9 out of 10 Writers Have Hypergraphia. Do You?

[This week, I’m re-running one of my most popular posts from 2015. Enjoy!]

Hypergraphia (a rarely-used noun) means, “the overwhelming desire to write”.

Do you have hypergraphia?

Writing can lead to all sorts of unpleasant conditions. Some writers have graphomania, a manic obsession to write. Others are so obsessed with writing that they practice epeolatry: The worship of words.

If you procrastinate, you are a cunctator, one who puts something off. And if you practice cunctation and put off a writing project long enough, you could end up with uhtceare (pronounced: oot-key-are-a; an Old English noun meaning “lying awake before dawn and worrying.”)

Cunctation also leads to shturmovshchina, a word of Russian origin that means the practice of working frantically just before a deadline.

And shturmovshchina often leads to mogigraphia, a rare word meaning “writer’s cramp”. If you have mogigraphia, you might also have dysgraphia, a problem whereby one finds it hard to write legibly. (Agatha Christie had this, and I do, too.)

Cunctation, shturmovshchina, mogigraphia, and dysgraphia can lead to graphophobia, which means, “a fear of writing.” And if you are afraid of using long words, or even reading them, then you have hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. (There’s even a song about it! Click here to listen.)

If your brain overflows with ideas and your muse leads you to dream about monsters, you could end up with teratophobia, the fear of giving birth to monsters. . .

and that might lead to ideophobia, a fear of ideas. . .

and—HORRORS!

this blog post may have given you logophobia—a fear of words!

And you thought writing was easy?

Most of these words come from one of my favorite web sites, Interesting Literature. Check it out. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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Filed under Fun, fun with words, Uncategorized, unusual words, words