Some words contain oxymora within themselves—like “she” which has a “he” embedded in it. Because the oxymoron is self-contained, I called these words oxyidiots (from the Greek idios meaning peculiar to itself.) Oxyidiots include two category of words which Dr. Richard Lederer calls “beheadments” (like t/here) and “kangaroo words” (like stray-stay.) (See Dr. Lederer’s book The Word Circus.) Although most oxyidiots are words sporting negating prefixes or suffixes—like “amoral,” “disagree,” “careless,” and “without”—a few non-negated words can become oxyidiots in the right context. Take a look.
If you have none, look closely and you’ll find one.
When Lee Way lost his wheels, he had to use his heels.
It would be odd if seven were even.
Her tears told him her fears were fact, not act.
You would think there was no harm in charm, but there is.
TV is for those who would rather laze than blaze.
One minute the goose was flying high, the next it was lying low.
The word is mightier than the sword, except in battle.
Beat weapons into ploughshares; go from arms to farms.
Why choose either when what’s easier is neither.
Whatever it is, ours is better than yours.
Exercise your anger—spout instead of pout.
Lovers of liberty, be warned—there’s always a pen in the open.
The bigger the onus, the better the bonus.
Slaughter is not a word that brings laughter.
Tired of the chit chat, Bill Encue went from host to ghost.
The fact that “here” in is “there” is neither here nor there.
Begin with a particle, then add to it until you have an article.
In choosing sides, my druthers is brothers over others.
In a word, there is more to women than men.
You get more with the whole than with the hole.
Stay and be happy; stray and be happier.
A dessert is heaven, a desert is hell, unless you’re a cactus.
Mary Thon had the face of a fiend, but the heart of a friend.
On Halloween, bullies ring the bell and yell, “Threat or treat.”
Kneeling before the king, Nat Chural got a tittle instead of a title.
King Leary’s fortune cookie read, “Reign well or resign.”
At the close of surgery, the question is whether to staple or tape.
There’s more to animosity than amity.
The gullible gather round the glib.
Marge O’Rinn was oblivious to the obvious.
Being curt is easier than courteous, but lonelier.
If you have both, cuddle a pet and coddle a pest.
Least and last, Gus Tatory loved to feast and fast.