Thanks to one of my fellow teachers who sent this my way via email. Ahhh, when those who practice the craft of English practice it well.
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.
I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience...
I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the 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.
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
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.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
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?
Some people are like Slinkies.... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
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.
I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted pay checks.
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 "In an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it...
so I said "Implants?"
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 ?
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
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.
Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
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.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.
I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila.
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
In other words, a Steven Wright routine... :)
Yeah. A lot of these are Stephen Wright jokes. Very few items listed meet the definition of a paraprosdokian. Like the definition says you're supposed to read the first part in its conventional sense and the second part makes you reread the first part in an unconventional and humorous way. I suppose it's the list itself is a paraprosdokian as I expected one type of humorous sentence meeting a certain definition and was instead met with many other types causing me to reevaluate what the author intended.
"Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience" is not a paraprosdokian for example. Nothing is misunderstood or reinterpreted as you get to the second part. The fact that an idiot has more experience doesn't change anything prior.
"The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list." is actually a paraprosdokian. The interpretation of the first part actually changes when you read the second part.
Here's another one: "Life is short. Don't make fun of it."
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