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The term paradox is from Middle French paradoxe. It also comes from the Greek word paradoxon which means “contrary to expectations, existing belief, or perceived opinion”, and directly from Latin paradoxum “paradox, statement seemingly absurd yet really true”.
Paradox is therefore, a phrase/statement that appears to be self-contradictory or absurd, but which is actually expressing some truth when it is closely examined. It is a statement which seems untrue at first sight but proves valid on closer inspection. The uniqueness of paradoxes lies in the fact that a real and deeper meaning and significance is not revealed at first glance, but when it crystallizes, it provides astonishing insight.
√ You can save money by spending it.
√ Truth is honey, which is bitter.
√ I close my eyes so that I can see.
√ They have congratulated them for losing the match.
√ This is the beginning of the end.
√ People eat too much while they are poor.
√ Your enemy’s friend is your enemy.
√ Here are the rules: Ignore all rules.
√ I only message those who do not message.
√ He was glad to finally be punished for his crimes.
√ War is peace.
√ Freedom is slavery.
√ Ignorance is strength.
√ “It’s weird not to be weird”-John Lennon
√ Love puts in when friendship is gone.
√ It was the best mistake he ever made.
√ Good fences make good neighbours.
√ I am nobody.
√ The child is father of the man.
√ I know one thing: that I know nothing. –Socrates
√ “I can resist anything but temptation.” – Oscar Wilde
√“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it very important that you do it”. –Mahatma Ghandhi.
√“The most corrected copies are commonly the least correct”. – Francis Bacon.
√“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – in George Orwell ’s Animal Farm.
In literature, paradox is used to attract attention by making a reader think over an idea in innovative way. It is also used to give pleasure and enjoyment to readers. This is because readers enjoy more when they extract the hidden meanings out of the writing rather than something presented clearly to them.
The difference between a paradox and an oxymoron is that a paradox may consist of a sentence or a group of sentences while an oxymoron is a combination of two contradictory/opposite words. A paradox seems absurd and contradicts itself, but contains a hidden truth. An oxymoron, however, may produce a dramatic effect, but does not make literal sense.