Say what? All about paraprosdokians.

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Humour, Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , ,

Winston Churchill

Dear old Winnie: he loved a joke. Like convincing us all this meant "V for Victory" when in fact he was really telling us what he thought of the voters.

A paraprosdokian is a phrase or sentence that leads us down the garden path to an unexpected ending. Taking a seemingly unarguable or simple statement, and then making more of a point by adding a witty or apparently contradictory response at the end of it. It’s a device much loved of both rhetoricians and stand up comedians.

“Where there’s a will, I want to be in it,” is a great example of a paraprosdokian.

Winston Churchill loved them, apparently. I provide below a list of some of the better ones I’ve found. Anyone else know any other goodies?

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. Mind you, it’s still on my list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

The Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good Evening,’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

I thought I wanted a career.  Turns out I just wanted paying.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I usually put ‘Ambulance’.

I didn’t say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.

Women will never be equal to men. They can’t walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Money can’t buy you happiness. Then again, it sure makes misery easier to live with.

You’re never too old to learn. Often something really stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Change is inevitable. Just not from vending machines.

Where there’s a will, there are relatives.

  1. […] Offensive Politically Incorrect Joke”, which I still think is very funny, (it’s also a paraprosdokian by the way, and there are some more of them here, which is probably why I like it so much), and […]


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