Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PARAPROSDOKIANS - Humorously Twisted Communications

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Note: The Article which follows was originally published by Douglas Castle in his critically-acclaimed* BRAINTENANCE: Mind Builders! Blog, conveniently located at on your radio. Look up Douglas+Castle+blogs in a Google search and just make my day. -DC
* This is a lie.

PARAPROSDOKIANS - Humorously Twisted Communications That'll Keep Your Audience Awake...if they are not already dead.




Contrary to popular belief, Paraprosdokians are not an ethnic subgroup from latter-day Armenia. No, they are actually intellect-grabbing examples of wordplay which produce double-takes if the listener is actually 1) paying attention; 2) reasonably intelligent; and 3) not averse to exhibiting a sense of humor.

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. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. Here are a few examples:

1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

2. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

3. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

4. If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

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

8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

9. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

10. How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

11. Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

12. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

13. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "In an emergency, notify:" I put "Doctor".

14. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

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

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

17. The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

18. Hospitality: Making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

19. I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

21. I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

22. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

23. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

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

The above entertainment was forwarded to my inbox courtesy of Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABHM. His website is


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