Is jumbo shrimp an oxymoron?
Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:54 AM
Posted 11 March 2012 - 05:51 PM
If you look at it closely, not necessarily.
We're not looking at the use of 'shrimp' in the term that would actually make this an oxymoron. The 'shrimp' in question is the food, not a person of diminutive height. So the phrase can't actually be translated as 'big diminutive person.' It's 'big crustaceans,' which they, literally, are, considering shrimp, in general, are small to begin with.
So, to sum up, in a weird way, the term 'jumbo shrimp' shouldn't really be considered an oxymoron. It just comes across as one at face value.
Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:33 AM
On the other hand, if you were referring to someone as a "shrimp," meaning the person is small, then that is a different argument altogether.
For instance: "That guy is a shrimp!" "No, that guy is a JUMBO shrimp!"
Because "shrimp" in this case is referencing the guy's size, calling him a "jumbo shrimp" would then be considered more as an oxymoron. However, jumbo shrimp as an animal should not be considered an oxymoron at all.
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