Thursday, September 09, 2010



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 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.


My good friend Tom Webb sent a fun e-mail today. He's quite a poet and something of a comedian too. He introduced me to the word
"prosdokian". What follows is his e-mail slightly adapted for my blog. Enjoy.

TOM WEBB said...."Were you aware that today is National Paraprosdokian
Day. 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. Check out the following for

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 because he will drag
you down to his level and beat you with experience

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather
and not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you,
but that is on the list.

Light travels faster than sound and that's 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 just who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit but
wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

The early bird might get the worm, but the
second mouse always gets the cheese.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening',
and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

A bus station is where a bus stops and a train station
is where a train stops so my desk is a work station.

How is it one careless match can start a
forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire.

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

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 I said "Implants?"

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

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

Behind every successful man is his woman and 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 but you definitely
need a parachute to skydive twice.

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

Always borrow money from a pessimist because 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've 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 but others whenever they go.

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

I always take life with a grain of salt,
plus a slice of lemon, 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
but 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.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

TOM WEBB said...."By the way, I was just kidding about it
being National Paraprosdokian Day.
In any case, have a great day and love to all"

Paul B..


Bob Cleveland said...

"I bought my mother a house, but the cops wouldn't let her run it."

WORD VERIFICATION: "eumsor" ... after 64 minutes of cardio exercise today, you darn betcha I am ...

Aussie John said...


Maybe you can enlighten me!

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

Rex Ray said...

Aussie John,
With two candidates the elected President would have over half the ‘vote’, but with 50 candidates, he could have as little as 11 percent of the vote, but the REAL answer is judges have better scenery.

Paul Burleson said...


After 64 minutes of that "Iumsor" too. ;)

Aussie J,

I think Rex is right.


Only you're left. ;)

Rex Ray said...

Maybe it’s too early in the morning, but for the life of me – this old brain can’t figure out “Only you’re left.”

Some of you may remember “Ain’t funny McGee” in Fibber McGee and Molly. That’s what I thought about: “A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast
when you are after it as when you are in it.”

I saw the express buss I was after leave as a missionary dropped me off after I’d finished a project at the Baptist Village in Israel. The next buss to Jerusalem was a local that made all the stops. As the minutes sped by, I confided in an ‘extra’ buss driver I had to catch the last bus to Beersheba at 4 PM. He said he’d help me find the ticket booth.
It was five minutes till 4. I followed him in a run – dragging a suitcase full of tools. He left after saying “There” while pointing to a sigh. The sign said “Information”, but was closed. With people all over, I asked where the ticket booth was. “Three floors up.”
Crazy! – It was 4:10 when I asked a newspaper stand about the ticket booth. “This is it”, and he pointed to my buss about to leave.
I’ve never figured out how they had a buss 3 floors up from the one I left. After a four hour rest we arrived. During the trip, people left and got their bags from under the buss without anyone checking what they took. I worried about that and when I picked up my suitcase, I told my son: “Someone has stolen my tools!”
But they were all there which proves the weight of anything depends on your condition and state of mind.

Paul Burleson said...


I'm sorry. It was my poor sense of humor. I told Aussie J, that you were "right." then said to you.."Only you're left" meaning you're the one "left" to comment to. A play on the preceding word "right." I freely admit it wasn't very funny or even easily understood. Most of my attempted funnies go this way. :(

Rodney Sprayberry said...


Rodney Sprayberry said...

"Rolling Laughing On Floor"

Bob Cleveland said...

Paul, you're really funny, but remember, looks aren't everything.

Hey. I'm just trying to keep up the paraprosdokian thing going.

WORD VERIFICATION: No kidding .. "drelect".

Rex Ray said...

I get it!
My mother would tell my dad to stop telling jokes to Eskimos they were teaching at Quinock, Alaska. He kept repeating jokes but they never caught it.