Paraprosdokian: Unexpected Humor


Today’s article is a repost from March, 2011. These just crack me up.


Thanks to Steve, the father of a WriteAtHome student, for the following:Man with Laughing Mask

A paraprosdokian (from the Greek meaning “beyond expectation”‘) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. Here are a few good ones…..

  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my 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. (Steve Tyler said this to Randy on American Idol this week.)

  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

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

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  • 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. 

  • I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, “In case of emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”

  • I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you. 

  • A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory. 

  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  • 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.

  • To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target. 

  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. 

  • Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

Steve got these from Wikipedia and from The Blue Book Blog.


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About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

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    porcentaje exito ovodonacion ivi valencia07-22-2016

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  2. Lena Whitson
    Lena Whitson08-22-2012

    I know he’s strong, but smell isn’t everything.

  3. Robert

    I win, but thanks for playing.

  4. Robert

    Thanks for culling some good humor for us! You personally may not be that funny, Brian, but at least you’re short.

    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko08-20-2012

      You, on the other hand, are very funny, Robert. But looks aren’t everything.

  5. Casey Heard
    Casey Heard03-15-2011

    Thoroughly enjoyed this 🙂

  6. Abigail

    Fun post 🙂 Here’s a couple others…

    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.

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