Paraprosdokian in your language?

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or the listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part (Wikipedia)

Some examples are:

  1. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

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

  3. In case of fire, do not use elevator. Use water.

  4. "On the other hand, you have different fingers." -- Steven Wright

  5. And this quote from Miriam Santiago:

There was a study on the connection between government employees and the sport they play.
Ang paborito raw sport ng entry-level government employees ay basketball. (The favorite sport of those entry-level gov't employees is basketball)
Kapag lower management position na, ang paborito raw nila ay bowling. (If they managed to rise to a lower management position, their favorite would be bowling.)
Kapag upper management naman, paborito raw nila ay tennis. (Higher management tends to love tennis.)
Ang paborito raw na sport ng high-level government officials is golf. (Then, the favorite of high-level gov't officials is golf.)
The study then made this conclusion, kapag tumataas ang posisyon mo sa gobyerno, lumiliit ang balls mo. (The study then made this conclusion, the higher you go up the government hierarchy, the smaller your balls will become.)

I'm interested to hear what your language have :)

May 16, 2018


He could not understand why the ball was getting bigger, then it hit him.

May 16, 2018

I did not see that coming (pun not intended)

May 17, 2018


May 16, 2018

Vietnamese: Một miếng khi đói bằng một gói khi no. "Giving just a crumb to the hungry is worth more than giving lunch to the satisfied."

May 16, 2018

what your language have

it's has

May 17, 2018

Actually I doubted it, maybe your language has more than 1, so, yah. thanks.

May 17, 2018

well it would still be has

May 17, 2018

In Russian, not really translatable into English:

Шел дождь и два студента. Один в пальто, другой в институт. (both sentences are paraprosdokian, the first providing the context for the second one).

Штирлиц открыл окно, из окна дуло - Штирлиц закрыл окно, дуло исчезло. (one of a series of paraprosdokian Stirliz jokes (a decent one ;) ).

May 17, 2018

"Holy Kleenex, Batman! It was right under our nose and we blew it!"

"If the coffee tastes like dirt it's because it was ground this morning."

I don't know many outside of English, but I could probably make one or two up if I tried. Inside of English I know too many to count.

The correct form is 'has', by the way; one language HAS many paraprosdokians, whereas multiple languages HAVE even more paraprosdokians. So the correct form for your comment would be: "I'm interested to hear what your language has." Just so you know.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.

January 27, 2019
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