A play on words
by Ruth Baker
Aug 22, 2010 | 2301 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ruth Baker
Ruth Baker
There is a word used widely in the English language – “oxymoron.” It is a hard word to say and harder sometimes to understand because it has an inverted way to get the meaning. It simply means a condition where a location produces an effect seemingly a self-contradiction.

One of the articles lately brought more laughter, I am told, than anything in a while and it took one word, up, through the many uses. This one will boggle your mind also. So have fun with our language.

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?

7. Why does “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?

8. Why do “tug” boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing “Take me out to the ballgame” when we are already there?

10. Why are they called “stands” when they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called “after dark” when it really is “after light”?

12. Doesn’t “expecting the unexpected” make the unexpected expected?

13. Why are a “wise man” and “wise guy” opposites?

14. Why do “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things?

15. Why is “phonics” not spelled the way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrible, why do they have to pay you to do it?

17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

18. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?

19. Why is bra singular and panties plural?

20. Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?

21. How come abbreviated is such a long word?

22. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

23. Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

24. Why do they call it the TV set when you have only one?

25. Christmas: What other time of the year do yo sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?



With all my years of studying the English language, and teaching it, it still amazes me when I re ally search underneath the meaning and its usage in our modern times.

Ruth Baker is a retired educator and a published author. She has written on the history of Walker County and its people for over 27 years. She may be reached at 205-387-0545.