20 July 2011 2 Comments

Paraprosdokians

SmileyI learned a new word today – Paraprosdokian!

From wikipedia:

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

Here are some favorites I’ve pulled from various sources:

  • Some people are like Slinkies … not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
  • The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
  • I haven’t slept for ten days . . . because that would be too long.
  • If I could say a few words, I’d be a better public speaker.
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  • I like going to the park and watching the children run around because they don’t know I’m using blanks.
  • She looks as though she’s been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say ‘when’.
  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening . . . but this wasn’t it.
  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  • A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
  • I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

2 Responses to “Paraprosdokians”

  1. Lee Ninneman 20 June 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Walter, there would have been a day when Paraprosdokians were call Yogi Berraisms

  2. Walter Reade 20 June 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Yeah, he was a master!


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