This Sentence is a Lie

December 27th, 2012 by Michael Tabor
If I am being truthful, then the fact that I’m telling you “this sentence is a lie” must mean that it’s a lie, so it’s not a lie after all – but how can that be ?  Well maybe I’m not being truthful, so the sentence is indeed a lie, which makes the sentence true – an endless loop.

Instead of  buying a nook  (I am a lover of books and absolutely refuse to give in and buy one of those e-readers – another blog), this Christmas Madelene and I decided to buy each other bookcases in an effort to organize our increasingly unmanageable personal library. Well I couldn’t be happier with our decision, because now I can access every one of my favorite books. About five Christmases ago, my wife bought me a tiny little gem of a book entitled ‘Oxymoronica’  by Dr.Mardy Grothe – a collection of paradoxes or as the title suggests oxymora. Although the book is just over 200 pages, it is packed with 2,548 of the most interesting and thought – provoking witticisms that ought to invariably give you a headache if it were not so much fun.

Some of the paradoxes are impossible to solve, like the title of this blog, and presumably much thought had been put into them as well, however there is plenty of inadvertent off the cuff  oxymora such as Yogi Berra’s “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Here are some more Yogism’s for you: “Some of the things I said, I never said.” Or how about “90% of the game is half – mental” and finally “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
Mickey Rooney  once quipped,” There’s no one more depressed than a happily married man.” Even if Mickey didn’t insert “happily” which is what makes this an oxymoron, statistically Mr. Rooney would be quite wrong – couples live longer than single folks but it’s still funny. Most of the statements in here, however ring of truth – “Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.” In addition, one of my favorites is “less is more.” I have been a student of Eastern philosophy for more than 3 decades, so I see truth in, “Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness” written by the Chinese sage, Chuang – Tzu.  Confucius said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s own ignorance” and finally, Lao – Tzu stated, “Failure is the foundation of success, success the lurking place of failure.”

What makes a paradox/adage/oxymoron stand out from the rest is if it is clever, funny, true, and ironic. How’s this for those of you out there who are always forced to attend meetings – “Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” Here’s one for all you alcoholics, “I don’t drink. I don’t like it. It makes me feel good.” I fairly recently blogged about Woody Allen, so here’s one taken right from one of his movies (I think ‘Annie Hall’)  “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon. ”

Madelene’s father’s words of wisdom to his precious daughter were always, “Life is short, so just be happy.” Though this is not an oxymoron I’ll end this blog with one from Oscar Wilde which always leads to the same thing, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.”

So  WHADAYATHINK ? What do you Think ? Do you have any of your own oxymorons ?

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One Response to “This Sentence is a Lie”

  1. magdalena Says:

    There’s no moron in oxymoronica. It’s independent of itself.

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