Paraprosdokians …. Interesting !!

Sentences that Throw you a Curve –   PARAPROSDOKIAN  is a figure of speech  in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or a larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.  Frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect,  sometimes producing an anti-climax, extremely popular among comedians and satirists –  parprosdokian is a sentence which consists of two parts – The first is a figure of speech and the second an intriguing variation of the first !!


Paraprosdokian is not an Armenian writer or football coach but a figure of speech characterized by an abrupt change of direction at the end. It is a phrase that intentionally leads us down the garden path, that misleads us into thinking one way, then suddenly ending on an unexpected twist. Stand-up comedians who like one-liners use lots of them, because the setup and punchline are all in a single line..p4

Paraprosdokian is a derivative of a Greek word which means “beyond expectation” and is used widely in common speech and literature.   Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but they also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a form of syllepsis (a figure of speech in which a word is applied to two others of which it grammatically suits only one).

Paraprosdokians are linguistic brain scramblers..  A few interesting examples:

  • Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you…. but it’s still on my list.
  • Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  •  If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  •  We never really grow up…. we only learn how to act in public.
  •  War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
  •  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.
  •  I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  •  You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  •  I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
  •  To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  •  Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  •  You are never too old to learn something stupid.
  •  I am supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder & harder for me to find one now.
  • A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
  • How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
  • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?
  • Of all the people I have ever met, you could be one of them.
  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way, so I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify. . . ,” I put “DOCTOR”
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
  • I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  • In the morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I don’t know.
  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.”
  • If I could just say a few words … I’d be a better public speaker.
  • I haven’t slept for 10 days, because that would be too long.
  • I sleep eight hours a day and at least ten at night.
  • On the other hand, you have different fingers.


Spread the Laughter, Share the Cheer, Let’s Be Happy While We are here !!!




2 thoughts on “Paraprosdokians …. Interesting !!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s