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Posted by U15228749 (U15228749) on Thursday, 16th May 2013
what is the difference between contradiction and paradox?
Posted by bitesize_english_teacher (U15197928) on Thursday, 16th May 2013
A contradiction involves two statements that, taken together, do not make sense as they are saying opposing things.
A paradox, however, is an APPARENT contradiction - a statement that SEEMS not to make sense but does in fact contain a truth.
"To preserve the peace, prepare for war"
This seems to be a contradiction. However, the idea is that if you are prepared for war, and your enemy is prepared for war too, then neither side will fire shots at the other and start a war. Therefore, by being prepared for war, peace is preserved.
Another relevant word here is OXYMORON. Think of an oxymoron as a kind of condensed paradox - it consists of two opposite words placed side by side (e.g. "serious fun").
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