Friday, October 28, 2011

It's All in How You Think About It, and All in How You Study It

I have learned a lot since I became a self-taught photographer, and not just about photography. I've learned about insects and flowers and history, and the stories behind the subjects I have photographed.

But this past week, I learned about "paraprosdokians," which have nothing to do with taking pictures. They're not insects, or flowers, or a long-lost civilization.

A paraprosdokian 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. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.

For instance, this quote from Groucho Marx:

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening ... but this wasn't it."

I recently came across a list of several paraprosdokians, and thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites. Here is my #1 favorite:

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

Where there's a will, I want to be in it."

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

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:,' I put 'DOCTOR.'

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

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.

I love this one, too! — Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

And last, but not least, "The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."

And now you know what paraprosdokians are, if you didn't know already. I hope you got a laugh or two from these.


Beth at Aunties said...

Thanks for the smiles... I will try to remember some of these:)

Dorothy said...

These are funny!! I didn't know they actually had a name for this type of humor:-) I enjoyed this!!!

Tonja said...

Never heard of these...but they are delightful! Just a little literary surprise! Thanks for sharing!

racheld said...

I've always loved these---from the "original" one to me---Henny Youngman's immortal, "Take my wife----please."

It's so old and trite, but a very apt juxtaposition of words, though the thought may have blurred:

You hear the husband's fond, "Now, consider MY wife for a moment," and then the punchline.

And you know how I LOVE learning a new word! You're just a WELL of never-ending surprise.

Stay warm and I hope it's a good, sunny late afternoon Monday for your charming little visitors.


C. M. Designs said...

I love the last one, Janie, about the mouse. Have a happy weekend. Charlotte in Va.

Richard Cottrell said...

I need to learn more about how to use my camera and try and do better. I have only a cheap point and shoot, but I am sure I could do better if I knew how. Maybe tomorrow, after all, tomorrow is another day. Thanks for sharing. Richard from My old Historic House.