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Re: The most amusing oxymoron is:

by QM (Parson)
on Apr 30, 2020 at 09:30 UTC ( [id://11116267]=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to The most amusing oxymoron is:


Which is it?

Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

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Re^2: The most amusing oxymoron is:
by hippo (Bishop) on Apr 30, 2020 at 10:55 UTC

    Similarly, I've noticed en_GB speakers (and occasionally writers) using the phrase "plug socket" more and more. Given that pretty much every (physical) socket takes a plug of some sort this comes across as more redundant than oxymoronic. Usually they mean to refer to a power socket (typically a standard 3-pin 13-amp ring-main power socket). Why they don't call it that only they can say.

      If you asked me for a plug socket I would give you socket to remove a cars spark plugs.
      ..."plug socket"...
      I suppose, pedantically speaking, "plug" differentiates it from some other socket, like "electric" guitar differentiates from "acoustic". However, in most contexts, I'm at a loss to know what the other "socket" is (the nearest thing is usually a light bulb, and that's never an option), and in fact, I think most uses of "plug socket" are lazy language, or people who have only ever heard it called that, and don't know why. (Maybe like en_GB speakers say "pavement" for "the pedestrian walkway, generally near a roadway", when obviously half the city is "paved". Granted, "sidewalk" is more obvious in that use, but a "sidewalk" in an internal courtyard, a hundred meters from any vehicular traffic, is also troublesome. I might go with "walkway", except that sometimes connotes some path not fixed to the ground. And "footpath" doesn't need to be paved. (Now I have a headache.))

      Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

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