Driving in the car a week or so ago, my eldest one-of-three says, "I just don't understand what it is with all English teachers and hyperbole!" (Her pronunciation was hyper - bowl!) The former English teacher in me took offense to this mispronunciation and said, "For the 10 millionth time, it's hi-per-bu-lee!"
Hyperbole, simile, metaphor, irony, pun, personification, and don't forget oxymoron! These all too familiar terms of an English teacher's vocabulary don't really excite others. But to us word junkies...
Oxymoron - a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.
This winter has to be the worst for winter weather that I can remember since leaving my Tennessee mountain home in 1992. Just this week we were slammed, yet again, with another arctic blast that caused incredible destruction. Power outages, entire trees toppled, large limbs from trees scattered.
I left early Friday morning in the hail-like sleet to head for a conference about an hour east of my house. Thinking slick roads were my biggest concern showed that I clearly misunderstood the dangers of this winter weather. Upon returning home mid-afternoon, I was absolutely stunned by the sights during my drive. Stunned of course at the too-many-to-count trees that hadn't been able to bear the weight of the ice. But also, stunned at the terrible beauty of absolutely everything covered in ice. Oxymoron. How could something so beautiful be so destructive?
I came home to no power, but everyone was safe in our comfortable misery. So out came the camera. I mean what's a photographer to do when faced with no power in an ice storm? Take photos, charge her laptop with the AC converter in the car so she can edit, and post pics online using her phone hotspot if necessary!
We spent an evening of melancholy merriment playing charades by candle and firelight. Kiddo's laughed, logs popped, blankets were stacked high in our conspicuous absence of heat. We slept in the deafening silence - no power, no white noise! But we had a roof over our heads, no trees on our roof, and all were safe and healthy. And that - that was awfully good! Oxymoron.