Wednesday’s Word (#20)

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Happy mid-week, readers! Hope the week is off to a great start for you. Since today is Wednesday I figured I would share another fun word to add to your vocabulary (or remember to use more frequently if you already know it).

This week’s word is…


Paraprosdokian
/pærəprɒsˈdoʊkiən/
(n.) A figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence, phrase, or larger discourse is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part (as defined by Wikipedia.)

I never knew that there was a word for this but this is one of my favorite types of comedy – so subtle and brilliant when done well! Here are some examples:

  • “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” ~ Groucho Marx
  • “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” ~ Will Rogers
  • “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” ~ Einstein

As you hear others use paraprosdokians, now you can know what they’re called (if you didn’t already) and interject with your own! Also, special shout-out to my Dad (and Mom) for passing this word my way.

One thought on “Wednesday’s Word (#20)

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