Friday, December 27, 2019

Some Lies Speak Truth: A Book of Oxymorons


We live with contradictory terms and thoughts in our daily lives.  No where is this more evident than in a book filled with them.  Oxymoronica:  Paradoxical Wit and Wisdom from History’s Greatest Wordsmiths by Dr. Mardy Grothe gives us hundreds and hundreds of such examples.

Here are a few of the ones I particularly like:

“I love my country too much to be a nationalist.”
--Albert Camus

“Less is more.”
--Robert Browning

“To lead people, walk behind them.”

“A nation is only at peace when it’s at war.”
--Hugh Kingsmill

“Why do you have to be a non-conformist like everybody else?”
--James Thurber

“Please accept my resignation.  I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”
--Grouch Marx

“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
--Samuel Goldwyn

“I’m an atheist and I thank God for it.”
--George Bernard Shaw

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”
--Margaret Mead

“We have to believe in free will.  We’ve got no other choice.”
--Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.”
--George Burns

“It is difficult to keep quiet if you have nothing to say.”
--Malcolm Margolin

“There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.”
--James Thurber

“You can live in the past but there is no future in it.”
--Rabbi Kalman Packouz

“The hardest thing is writing a recommendation for someone we know.”
--Kin Hubbard

“What most men desire is a virgin who is a whore.”
--Edward Dahlberg

“Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.”
--P.J. O’Rourke

“Never pray for justice, because you might get some.”
--Margaret Atwood

“Some of the biggest failures I ever had were successes.”
--Pearl Bailey

“Nothing is permanent but change.”

“Acting is all about honesty.  If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
--George Burns

“That’s what show business is – sincere insincerity.”
--Benny Hill

“The history of success in our business is rejecting …And the history of failure is “the sure thing.”
--Produce Tony Hill

“My mom never saw the irony in calling me a son of a bitch.”
--Jack Nicholson

“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”
--Peter Ustinov

“First I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.”
--Vincent van Gogh

“Inaction may be the biggest form of action.”
--Jerry Brown

“The best place to hide anything is in plain view.”
--Edgar Allan Poe

“I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.”
--George H.W. Bush

“I think anybody who doesn’t think I’m smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.”
--George W. Bush

“Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”
--Jessanyn West

“A successful book is not made of what is in it but what is left out of it.”
--Mark Twain

“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.”
--Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Literature:  proclaiming in front of everyone what one is careful to conceal from one’s immediate circle.”
--Jean Rostand

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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