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. Here are some examples…
- He was at his best when the going was good.
- If I am reading this graph correctly—I’d be very surprised.
- I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.
- He was a modest man, who had much to be modest about.
- I haven’t slept for two weeks, because that would be too long.
- 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.
- You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
- To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Got a favorite one of your own to share? Leave it as a comment.