Paraprosdokians

A paraprosdokian (according to Wikipedia) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but they also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a form of syllepsis.

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The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing … after they have tried everything else. (Winston Churchill)

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

In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ … I put ‘DOCTOR’.

If I am reading this graph correctly … I’d be very surprised. (Stephen Colbert)

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

I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat. (Will Rogers)

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. (Groucho Marx)

You’re never too old to learn …something stupid.