A friend sent an email with a list of paraprosdokians, a rather long word that is easy to pronounce. Mr. P., once a Greek warrior, is linked to sentences using the idea of “beyond” and “expectation” — a yin and yang approach to word play. The first part of a sentence begins matter-of-factly. The second part delivers a punchline with an unexpected, nuanced ending.
— Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
— A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
— Buy two get one tree.
— Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
— If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
— A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
— War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
— Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
— To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
— I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
— Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
— You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
— 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.
— Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
— Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
Which paraprosdokians do you like? I like . . . tomato is a fruit . . . and the one about skydiving.