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A paraprosdokian (/pærəprɒsˈdoʊkiən/) is 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. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.[1] Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but they also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a form of syllepsis.

5 favourites extracted from

  • The batteries were given out free of charge.
  • You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
  • He had a photographic memory; although it was never developed.
  • When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she would dye.
  • Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
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Page last modified on February 21, 2020, at 04:00 PM