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contradictions creating new ideas Options
PeeSoup
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 10:33:44 AM
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Joined: 4/1/2011
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Location: United States
I cant help but wonder (and I know I'm not the first) about our ability to create ideas using contradictory words and their meanings. I wonder what purpose and potential this serves us as creative beings able to create in our minds ideas that we have not witnessed and cannot witness in reality because they simply cant exist because they are contradictions. For example "dry water", "sweet salt", these are lame but you get the gist. Your thoughts?
Dreamy
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 8:56:27 PM

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Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
PeeSoup wrote:
I cant help but wonder (and I know I'm not the first) about our ability to create ideas using contradictory words and their meanings. I wonder what purpose and potential this serves us as creative beings able to create in our minds ideas that we have not witnessed and cannot witness in reality because they simply cant exist because they are contradictions. For example "dry water", "sweet salt", these are lame but you get the gist. Your thoughts?

From TFD

ox·y·mo·ron (ks-môrn, -mr-)
n. pl. ox·y·mo·ra (-môr, -mr) or ox·y·mo·rons
A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.



[Greek oxumron, from neuter of oxumros, pointedly foolish : oxus, sharp; see oxygen + mros, foolish, dull.]

Welcome to the forum, PeeSoup,(whew). At first I thought your post should have been in Vocab. but there is a slightly philosophical angle to it.
Toddey65
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 10:01:59 PM
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As Dreamy said they are oxymorons and are used for making something abstractly artful. Slicing and dicing phrases we create oxymorons something that can give an idea that there is a contradictory nature in the object and they sound cool. when I hear 'dry water' I think that they are saying there is water but it is decrepit and therefore dry. Many people will interpret that differently though. But nevertheless they are good rhetorical devices.

That is about as philosophical as I can get.
PeeSoup
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 10:03:18 PM
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Thanks for the brush up on the term oxymoron, and the slighted welcome dreamy. I guess I was not being clear enough. What I'm asking is how does this ability serve us a human beings. What if we could only think and relate to things as we witnessed them. What if we could not go to the next step and mash "oxymoronic" (not a word apparently) ideas together.
Dreamy
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 12:06:21 AM

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Joined: 9/11/2009
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Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
PeeSoup wrote:
Thanks for the brush up on the term oxymoron, and the slighted welcome dreamy. I guess I was not being clear enough. What I'm asking is how does this ability serve us a human beings. What if we could only think and relate to things as we witnessed them. What if we could not go to the next step and mash "oxymoronic" (not a word apparently) ideas together.

We would not be as intelligent as we are now, lacking the ability to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no-one has gone before.
PeeSoup
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 12:28:23 AM
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Location: United States
you are a silly bear
kingfisher
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 12:49:59 PM
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Joined: 12/15/2009
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PeeSoup wrote:
Thanks for the brush up on the term oxymoron, and the slighted welcome dreamy. I guess I was not being clear enough. What I'm asking is how does this ability serve us a human beings. What if we could only think and relate to things as we witnessed them. What if we could not go to the next step and mash "oxymoronic" (not a word apparently) ideas together.


Why does this "ability" have to serve us?

What if it's nothing more than a whimsy?
PeeSoup
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 9:12:30 PM
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Location: United States
Kingfisher your questions get right to the heart of it. We have language and we use it to symbolize meanings for things both concrete and abstract. We have cataloged the things in our environment and ideas in our minds and have an understanding of their connotative and denotative meanings. Why then are we able to take two of these things and relate them to each other and try to make a new meaning from the relationship of the two. If they are similar or there is a connection then we have made an association. But why are we able to make contradictions and still extract some meaning from it. I am trying to find out if there is a purpose for this or if it just the by-product of a processes that readily identifies the parts and tries to make connections between the parts. I feel like some of the classical quandaries that have vexed us as a species could simply be a language problem- e.g. the concept of Heaven.
wercozy
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 10:09:12 AM
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I think conflicting statements within a sentence are devices used by writers to delight the reader.
Luftmarque
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 2:25:42 PM

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It is the essence of creativity to relax the logic that ordinarily prohibits contradictories.
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