What’s a Paraprosdokian?

                   The English major in me couldn’t resist posting these, as forwarded by a Maine relative of mine. My Chinese readers most likely will be rolling in question marks and bemoaning their inadequate language skills, but for us native speakers, hope this brings a chuckle to your day.  Ping An! (Peace!)

Paraprosdokians  (Winston Churchill loved them!) are figures of  speech in which the latter  part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected, and frequently humorous.

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
10. Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. My desk is a work station.
11. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:____ ‘,  I put ‘DOCTOR.’
12. I didn’t say it was your fault.  I only said I was blaming you.
13. A clear conscience is the sign of a poor memory.
14. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
15. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
16. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
17. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
18. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
19. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
20. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
21. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
22. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one





About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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