I Hope This Blog Doesn’t Go Down Like a Lead Balloon
“Oxymorons” have been used since the heyday of Greek poetry, The Greco-Roman Period.
They are a figure of speech in which seemingly contradictory concepts are smashed together, and a literary device that describes those contradictory bits of life, like a bittersweet moment.
Even the plays and poetry of Shakespeare are smattered with “oxymorons.” They have also been featured in such well-received works as For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway and political commentary.
“Oxymorons” truly are a fascinating and poetic literary device. The author, Richard Watson Todd, said, “The true beauty of oxymorons is that, unless we sit back and really think, we happily accept them as normal English.”
Here are a few examples of commonly used “oxymorons.”
Unsurprisingly, the word “oxymoron” is oxymoronic, contradictory. “Oxymoron” comes from two ancient Greek words: oxys, meaning “sharp,” and moronos, “dull.”
Meaning and use of Passive voice in a proper sentence
How do I use Passive Voice in a proper sentence?
There’s a format for converting Simple Present Tense Active Voice sentences into the Passive Voice. It’s:
Object + is/are + Past Participle
For Example, “The pottery is made by Gilda.”
“The pottery” is the Object. And then we have “is.” “Made.” “Made” is the Past Participle of the verb make. Finally, we throw the Preposition “by” into the mix and our Subject “Gilda.”
But, this can easily be rewritten in the Active Voice.
“Gilda makes the pottery.”
Sentences like this focus on the subject and the reader’s thoughts are with Gilda.
As a writer, I’m often told not to use Passive Voice because it’s used to shift blame. Sentences like:
“Mistakes were made by the fire department,” place the focus on “mistakes” rather than the “fire department.” It’s almost like the fire department wants the reader to be aware of the mistakes but only vaguely associate the fire department with them. To rectify the sentence, in regards to placing blame, not grammar, it might be better to write:
“The fire department made mistakes.”
Even style guides suggest using Passive Voice lightly.
However, Passive Voice can be used to highlight a sentence’s Object. Or, as aptly described by Steven Pinker, “Passive [Voice] allows the writer to direct the reader’s gaze, like a cinematographer choosing the right camera angle (The Sense of Style).”
“The pottery is made by Gilda,” draws attention to “the pottery.” Typically, “the pottery” would be in the sentence’s Object and the sentence would read like this:
Back in the 1900s, the term “green fingers” was popular in the United Kingdom. It came from the green-stained fingers of farmers.
Often, plant extracts are used to dye fabric. Many plants secrete a stain. And so, during the harvest, the fingertips of farmers’ would become green with plant dyes.
The earliest use of “green fingers” came from the novel “The Misses Make-Believe” by Mary Stuart Boyd, a Scottish author.
“What old wives call green fingers: those magic digits that appear to ensure the growth of everything they plant.”
Later, the phrase “green thumb” came about. It was first used in the Daily Globe, in 1937.
An American journalist wrote:
“Miss Dvorak has what is known as the green thumb. That’s horticultural slang for being a successful gardener.”
Having a green thumb is a blessing. Those who have a green thumb make the plants grow. And, it’s said that “the lady who has a green thumb never lacks beauty, she is surrounded by flowers, nor goes hungry, food springs from the earth for her.”
Of course, having a green thumb can be cultivated and many have found their green thumb during the pandemic.
Structure and Rules of Using Past Continous Passive Voice
There are times you may want to write in both Passive Voice and Past Continuous tense. Simply, the Past Continuous tense can be identified by the past tense form of “be” and Verbs ending in ing.
For example, the sentence:
“Many elephants were being killed by poachers,” suggests that elephants had been killed by poachers, but no longer are. Something stopped the elephants from being killed.
Passive Voice is deployed to highlight a sentence’s Object. In our case, “elephants.” By writing the above example, we want the reader to focus on the “elephants” rather than the poachers. “For example,” the sentence could be rewritten in an Active Voice like so:
“Poachers were killing elephants.”
Psychologically, we are trained to focus on a sentence’s header. A sentence’s subject is much more significant to the reader or listener.
You may ask, how was this sentence constructed? There’s a simple format to follow. It goes like this:
Object + was/were + being + Past Participle Simple, right?
The idiom, “green-eyed monster,” comes from Shakespeare’s Othello, a play about jealousy. And, jealousy is referred to as the “green-eyed monster,” in this work of fiction. In fact, there’s no actual monster or players with green eyes in Othello, it’s just to represent envy.
Othello’s Green-Eyed Monster
In the play, Lago, the antagonist, says “O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mocks the meat it feeds on.” Or simply put, jealousy, the “green-eyed monster,” makes a monster of anyone who lets it into their life, hence, it mocks that which it feasts upon.
It’s believed that the idiom “green-eyed monster” alludes to the eyes of cats. Their eyes tease their prey before pouncing on them. But, as is the case with all idioms, its origin is unknown, there’s no telling where Shakespeare heard it before he wrote it in Othello.
Meaning of Green-Eyed in Western Culture
In Western culture, green is associated with 2 things, money, and jealousy. And those who envy are said to have “a green complexion.” So, green is usually associated with greed, envy, jealousy, and money.
My advice to you, while studying English, is don’t let the green-eyed monster get you. It mocks the meat it feeds on. If someone has better grammar or pronunciation than you, that’s fine, practice until you reach your goals. Anything is better than falling to the green-eyed monster.
A euphemism, by definition, is the substitution of an inoffensive phrase for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant. They are figures of speech that can be idioms or milder synonyms.
Euphemism, with its awkwardly placed diphthong, is pronounced \ˈyü-fəˌmi-zəm\, for those who are familiar with the phonetic alphabet. It’s one of the few English words that begin with eu.
Venus is au naturel
Speaking of euphemisms, you may be familiar with Sandro Botticelli’s, “The Birth of Venus”, and you may call the painting “a nude.” If you did so, you wouldn’t be wrong.
Yet, it’s important to recall that Western Civilization has roots in Puritanism, a belief that certain subjects are taboo to speak of and that certain phrases may evoke wanton thoughts. With this in mind, you may want to use the euphemism:
“Botticelli’s Venus is au naturel,”
When referring to the painting, it’s less provocative than using the words “naked” or “nude” in describing it.
The simple past (also termed as the past simple tense, past indefinite tense, or preterite tense) is a verb tense to indicate an action that is completed in the past. It is to speak about something that has already happened.
Simple past tense examples
Past Tense Form
She played the piano every morning last month.
He took the bus to school.
Jack traveled to Switzerland last year.
She wrote her journal yesterday night.
Jill went to school today morning.
She ate salad for lunch.
She worked as a banker earlier than her current job.
The simple future tense/future indefinite tense is to indicates an action or condition that will begin and end in the future. It refers to an action that hasn’t happened as yet. It refers to a thought or an action that you plan to do or could occur later than now.
Simple future tense examples
I will go to school tomorrow
She will visit China next year
The team will play in Argentina
She will go to meet her mother this weekend
We usually use the present future tense to express the following ideas:
The simple future tense is used to predict a future occurrence. For example, “It will be sunny tomorrow.”
To express a spontaneous decision. For example, “We’ll pay using our credit card.”
To express willingness/ unwillingness towards an action. For example, “I’ll clean up for you. I’ll never be dishonest.”
To make a suggestion for future action. For example, “Shall we go to a movie tonight?”
To give an invitation to a future event. (usually in the interrogative form). For example, “Will you join me for the class tomorrow?”
Make a sentence using the simple future tense.
Fill in the simple future tense in the following blanks by choosing the right word from the brackets.
She __________ to draw (will like/Likes/liked)
She __________melodiously at the concert (sings/sang/will sing)
He ___________to the market in the evening (go/went/will go)