I just now heard the term “Paraprosdokian Sentence,” which – I discover – refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in such a way that it causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part of the sentence, so such a construct is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.
The following are some examples that are currently bouncing their way around the Internet. I’ve seen some of these before; some are real “groaners”; but some made me giggle and grin. So even if you’ve seen some of these, it’s still worth your time to skim them to see if there are any previously undiscovered gems:
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.
I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted pay checks.
I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
Some people are like Slinkies … not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute if you want to skydive twice.
You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "911."
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?
But wait, there's more...
"If you are going through hell, keep going." — Winston Churchill
"I sleep 8 hours a day. And at least 10 at night." — Bill Hicks
"If I could say a few words, I'd be a better public speaker." — Homer Simpson
"You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing—after they have tried everything else." — Winston Churchill
"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." — Dorothy Parker
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." — Groucho Marx
"If I am reading this graph correctly – I would be very surprised." — Stephen Colbert
"He is a modest man, who has much to be modest about." — Winston Churchill
"She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say when." — P. G. Wodehouse
"I like going to the park and watching the children run around, because they don't know I'm using blanks." — Emo Phillips
"He was at his best when the going was good." —Alistair Cooke on the Duke of Windsor
"There but for the grace of God—goes God." — Winston Churchill
"I haven't slept for two weeks, because that would be too long." — Mitch Hedberg
Ever watch a movie with one of these annoying people that feel the need to explain why the special effects wouldn't work in real life? Don't you hate that? I try not to be that person. It even annoys me, but sometimes I just can't help myself; especially on Friday after a seemingly very long week..
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. - Unless you're a forest fire fighter, then fighting fire with fire, the "backfire", is often an effective and valuable tool.
Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America? - Actually, we typically choose from 20 or so. The elimination process is just a lot slower.
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it. - In the last decade banks have been more of a place that will lend you money if you have no hope of ever repaying it.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. - but open minded creativity is finding a way to do so and make it taste good.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet? - because if they tried to touch a star, it would burn their finger.
Okay. I'll stop now. Sorry.
I find it hard to say which is my favorite of these. I have to admit that I do like the P. G. Wodehouse one that says ""She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say when." But then there's the always-funny like from Groucho Marx "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." I wish I could come up with things like this...
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