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Paraprosdokian

This was sent to me by my sister. It is a good word to know. The main article appears in the correction box due to its length.

As always, if you don't understand any of the examples, please feel free to ask. This is the best way in learning the subtleties and nuances of the English language. I doubt that some of these examples can be translated at all without sacrificing the punch and humour. These gems rely on the intrinsic quality of the language.

No matter how stupid you may feel about your question, please don't be. Every question is valid in my eyes because you are learning the language.

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    Corrections

     Paraprosdokian, noun, from Greek para- "beyond" and  prosdokia “expectation”.

     

    “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. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.”

     

    Examples

     

    I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat. — Will Rogers

     

    She got her good looks from her father, he's a plastic surgeon. — Groucho Marx

     

    I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it. — Groucho Marx

     

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. — Groucho Marx

     

    If all the girls at Vassar were laid end to end, I wouldn't be surprised. — Dorothy Parker

     

    I don't care what is written about me as long as it isn't true. — Dorothy Parker

     

    This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. — Dorothy Parker

     

    The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of their tires. — Dorothy Parker

     

    That woman speaks eight languages and can't say no in any of them.— Dorothy Parker

     

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy. — Dorothy Parker

     

    He and I had an office so tiny that an inch smaller and it would have been adultery. — Dorothy Parker

     

    Look at him, a rhinestone in the rough. — Dorothy Parker

     

    Brevity is the soul of lingerie. — Dorothy Parker

     

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

     

     

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

     

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

     

    Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

     

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

      

    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.

      

    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.

     

     

    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?

     

    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.

     

    A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

     

    Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".

     

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

     

    Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

     

    Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

     

    Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

     

    A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

     

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

     

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

     

    Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

     

    A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

      

    Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with. .

     

    I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

     

    You're never too old to learn something stupid.

     

    Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

      

    Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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