Paraprosdokian - a fancy word for misdirection

Mitch Hedberg's Wikipedia page says, "His material depended heavily upon word play, non sequiturs, paraprosdokians and object observations."

Paraprosdokian? Doesn't he own a diner in Astoria? Actually, turns out a paraprosdokian is defined as "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, sometimes producing an anticlimax."

Examples mentioned at Wikipedia:

"If I am reading this graph correctly — I'd be very surprised." —Stephen Colbert

"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


More on paraprosdokians.

Labels:


0 Comment(s)


More posts: Newer›  ‹Older






rss  Subscribe to Matt Ruby's email list
rss  Subscribe to RSS feed for this blog
rss  Get this blog delivered by email
twitter  Twitter: Follow Matt
facebook  Facebook: "Like" Sandpaper Suit
rss  YouTube: Videos