Sunday, August 28, 2016

Paraprosdokian Wit

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is unexpected, causing the reader to reinterpret the first part. They are often humorous. Here are some great examples I’ve come across.

·      If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive. (This one is going around the Internet; author unknown.)
·      From The Devil’s Horn (the history of the saxophone, which was blamed for all sorts of bawdy behavior):
A gentleman is someone who can play the saxophone, but doesn’t. (First use author unknown.)
·      Will Rogers: I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.
·      From Time magazine 7/4/16, quoting painter Hans Hoffman on Lee Krasner’s painting:
This is so good, you would not know it was done by a woman.

I’ve been working on my own paraprosdokian collection. They’re not that easy to write. I’ve stretched the definition a bit. Here’s what I have thus far.

·      Why does everyone insist that two cats are enough for one family? If my parents had only had two children, I wouldn’t be here today! (I think I just answered my own question…)

·      People have called me an unabashed opportunist. I think they’re being unfair. But if it gets me what I want, it’s fine with me.
·      If I bought just the shoes that I absolutely could not live without when I worked in Manhattan, there would have been a lot of size 7 women walking around barefoot.
·      If I based what I spend on my cable TV service on the shows that I care about watching, I’d still be explaining my rabbit ears to everyone who comes to visit.
·      On days when I walk in the morning, I nap in the afternoon.
When I don’t walk, I snack all day.
I’ve stopped practicing my saxophone; I’m afraid it will lead to sex.
·      Seniors who socialize lead healthier lives. I tried to put together a dance group for single retirees, but then they all wound up in couples.
·      I’ve become so expert at dieting that I have complete wardrobes in three sizes.
·      They say: “Write what you know.” If I wrote only what I know for sure, I…

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