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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Stuart’s Daily Word Spot: Paraprosdokian

1970s Surfer print fiberglass skateboardImage via Wikipedia
Paraprosdokian: noun - 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 to reinterpret the first part. This time, I’ll give some examples, rather than use the word in an illustrative sentence:

‘Denis prayed fervently for a skateboard, knowing prayer doesn’t actually work like that. In the end, he lifted a skateboard from a small child and prayed for forgiveness instead.’

‘Attending a mosque won’t make you a Muslim any more than taking a woman against her will makes you a lover.’

‘Why do you believe every word the pastor tells you, no matter how unlikely, but always touch the paint to check, regardless of the sign telling you it’s wet?’

‘Knowledge is knowing that pepper is a hot spice; wisdom is not using it to warm up the custard.’

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