Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A-Z Challenge P is for Paraprosdokians

Just a few lines to brighten up your day (and your writing, if you can think of any yourself).

Paraprosdokians are phrases in two parts, the second part being rather unusual to the first. (Whaaaat?) Oh, OK, I'll show you:

1. A clear conscience is a sign of a bad memory.
2. We never really grow up, we just learn how to act in public.
3. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Winston Churchill often used them:

  • If you are in hell, keep going.
  • (Clement Atlee) is a modest man who has much to be modest about.
And Groucho Marx:
  • I've had a wonderful evening, but this wasn't it.
  • The car stopped on a dime, which unfortunately was in a pedestrian's pocket.
  • I once shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in them, I'll never know.
You're very welcome to add any of your own :-)


  1. too early for my brain--enjoyed yours

  2. I haven't heard this word before. I love it! I heard one yesterday.

  3. Oh, I love these! It doesn't matter how many times I see them, they always crack me up! I've never heard the elephant one before LOL!

  4. I'd never heard that word before in my life. But those sentences do come off as witty. I'm going to have to pay more attention to this when I read and listen.

  5. Kudos to you for coming up with a word most of us never heard of, let alone use. Like L.G, I'm going to pay more attention now.

  6. I've heard of some of those paraprosdokians, but I don't think I've come across that term for them before. :)

  7. I had no idea there was a word for such a sentence. Love it though.

  8. I will never be able to come up with one myself. Do you ever wonder why we have words for some things?? For instance, this. *giggle*

    Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!
    Giggle, Laugh, Cry

  9. I don't think I could come up with one either.

  10. these were fantastic - and what a great word!

  11. Great post. I couldn't think of one, so I'm sharing one that always makes me laugh out loud: I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

    Happy A to Z-ing!

  12. I'm not quick witted enough to come up with them, but I love them!!! :)

  13. Never heard that term before, but I've seen those kind of sayings.

  14. What a cool word. Now to find ways to use it :)

    Look forward to the rest of your challenge run…can’t believe we’ve had 16 days already!
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  15. They're great,aren't they? And they deserve a noun like praspa - prapas - prakaspro- whatever!
    Here's one from William Faulkner: 'A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.'


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