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Friday, October 01, 2010

Paraprosdokian, Paraprosdokian, wherefore are thou?

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© moodboard/Corbis
I just learnt a new word today! "Paraprosdokian." I know, it sounds weird, but, it is not a cuss word or even a bad word! It comes from two Greek words, παρα, meaning "beyond," and προσδοκια, meaning "expectation." It is a figure of speech in which the ending of a sentence or sentences (phrase/s) goes beyond what the listener expected. The listener would expect a certain ending to a sentence, but something unexpected is delivered after all.

Here are some of my favourites:
  • Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
  • Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  • I didn't say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.
  • "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." - Jack Handey
  • "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I'll never know." - Groucho Marx
  • "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers
  • "I haven't slept for ten days. Because that would be too long." - Mitch Hedberg
  • "Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

If you like the idea of the paraprosdokian, I have decided to create a Google List and share it with whoever cares. As I find more websites with paraprosdokians, I will add it to the list., so check it out every now and again!

HT: Dan Phillips

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