Contradictions in terms quite the play on words

Nor'westers always bring the most incredible skyscapes, mainly due to the strength of the winds and the turbulence on crossing the mountains. This dramatic display at the head of Lake Wakatipu on January 7 perfectly illustrates that atmospheric turmoil. P
Nor'westers always bring the most incredible skyscapes, mainly due to the strength of the winds and the turbulence on crossing the mountains. This dramatic display at the head of Lake Wakatipu on January 7 perfectly illustrates that atmospheric turmoil. Photo: Dave Brash
Don't you love a good oxymoron?

How about: ''Working for the Government'', ''manageable rates rises'', military intelligence'', ''deafening silence'', ''criminal justice'', or maybe a book called Easy Calculus?

Can you add a few more?

I was thinking about oxymorons, and the way our strange and fantastic English language struggles to cope sometimes with reality (I'm not sure I'd accept ''journalist thinking'' as an oxymoron, in case you were considering that).

My flight of fancy was sparked by our discussion about what makes a good cafe and the matter of loyalty cards.

The point of these cards is to reward regular customers with a freebie. But I know quite a few people who have wallets full of loyalty cards from different establishments.

Which, logically, means they are actually extremely disloyal. I think. Does that make ''loyalty card'' an oxymoron then? Or is it just irony?

Let me know what you think.

Mistaken identity

So it's not just me that gets people wrong occasionally. Phew.

Tom Landreth, of Cromwell, emailed in part of a poem which he wrote to demonstrate this type of awkward event.

It's called Oops!

There's an awkward situation that can fill your heart with fear,

for it's hard to judge identity when viewing from the rear.

You come up behind a man you're sure you've met

some time or other,

you call his name, he turns and, oops,

you're looking at your brother.

Nice one.

Tom says the first verse is less relevant. But I'll run it here because I like it:

I stride up to the podium, with pride my heart is beating,

to introduce the speaker at our Probus monthly meeting.

I grasp the microphone then ''oops'' I'm overcome with shame,

for I can't recall his subject and I've quite forgot his name.

While he was at it, Tom also had something to say about bad driving in Otago.

''Recently we had a heavy morning fog in Cromwell and while driving up to the town centre it was concerning to meet quite a few oncoming drivers who did not have their lights on. Not a good way to save the battery.''

I've always wondered why many Kiwi motorists resist switching on their headlights when visibility is poor. Are they worried about their power bills or something?

Another nor'west sky but not quite as chaotic. This was taken from Mt Cargill in April 2016. Photo: Trevor Douglas
Another nor'west sky but not quite as chaotic. This was taken from Mt Cargill in April 2016. Photo: Trevor Douglas
Bad, bad drivers

Which segues nicely into more complaints about the standard of driving.

Brian Andrews writes about traffic safety on Macandrew Rd through South Dunedin.

''Dunedin drivers, men and women, often go through orange traffic lights when they had or have plenty of time to stop, instead of waiting just a few minutes.

''I've noticed a lot of near misses along Macandrew Rd on King Edward St and, more so, at Cargills Corner. Those intersections should be monitored a lot more.

''On Friday, a car was waiting at Macandrew Rd in the right-arrow turning lane. But when the lights turned green, instead of going right the driver turned to the left instead, in front of a car indicating to go left. A few horns blasted at the idiot.''

Mr Andrews also mentions those impatient drivers who drive through the forecourt of the South Dunedin Night 'n Day to avoid waiting at the lights, and others who take a short cut through the car park of Robbies Bar and Bistro to do the same.

Central Otago 2050

Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to write with some thoughts on the way Central is changing and what it might look like in 30 years' time or so. I'll pop some of these comments into the column over the next few days. Any more contributions are most welcome!

Cloud photographs

These have been wonderful and I still have a few to come. If you have any shots which look quite different from those we have already printed, I'd be keen to see them.

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