Spotted on Devon House in Whitehall Road, Bristol, this morning.

Sign in photo reads Supported Independence, Devon House

This fine old building, which has a Georgian core, is currently being refurbished for some sort of supported or sheltered housing scheme.

However, whoever thought up the “Supported Independence” text on the sign doesn’t really understand English and probably couldn’t even begin to say what constitutes an oxymoron, i.e. an epigrammatic effect, by which contradictory terms are used in conjunction. .

Dictionary.com defines independence as follows (NB: emphasis added):

1. Also, independency. the state or quality of being independent.

2. freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.

I rest my case.