PARAPROSDOKIAN SENTENCES – funny, witty, satirical, widely used. They may not be politically correct but one can get the desired effect at a gathering by uttering these brilliantly put-together phrases – total party pleasers!
Paraprosdokian sentences generally start with a cliché but then pivot and surprise with their creative humor.
Do you get my drift? I hope you do because I am drifting away from you.
They are served with an unexpected twist of words towards the latter part of the sentence that pressurizes the reader to reassess or reinterpret the phrase preceding it.
Politicians, philosophers, activists, writers, and even the world-renowned physicist, Albert Einstein dabbled in these mildly-objectionable, yet humorous utterances.
- “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.” —Winston Churchill
- “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” —Groucho Marx
- “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” — Helen Keller”
- “Stop squabbling with an obtuse person. He has more experience in that field”
- “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit in front of a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway
- “Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others, whenever they go.” — Oscar Wilde
- “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” — Einstein
As is evident, the word comes from the Greek root words παρα (meaning “beyond”) and προσδοκία (meaning “expectation”). This figure of speech is spoken more widely used and yet, waits to earn its place in the dictionaries.