Paraprosdokian phrases. That sounds pretty intimidating right? All it means is basically a phrase in which the second part is completely unexpected. To be more specific, this refers to any phrase where the second part forces the reader to reinterpret the meaning of the first part. These sorts of phrases are often used by satirists or comedians due to the fact that paraprosdokians are very effective at creating a dramatic or humorous effect. Moreover, they are also very effective at creating an anticlimax, something that is quite useful in satire. This typically happens by changing the way you interpret the first part of the phrase. To be more specific, this can be done via several methods but most often it is accomplished when the speaker plays on the double meaning of a word.
The word paraprosdokian itself comes from Greek and roughly breaks down to “against expectation.” To give you an example, we can quote Homer from the Simpsons, “If I could just say a few words…I’d be a better public speaker.”
So, now that you have a better example of what they are, let’s jump right in. These are 25 Hilarious Paraprosdokian Phrases You’ll Never See Coming.
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