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A paraprosdokian is 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. Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an earlier phrase, but also play on the double meaning.

Some examples.

  • I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
  • I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
  • Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  • Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.
  • We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
  • War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  • Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  • A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
  • How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
  • 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.
  • A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.
  • Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify..." I put "DOCTOR".
  • I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
  • Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?
  • Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  • The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
  • Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.
  • A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
  • Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  • Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
  • There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
  • I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
  • I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
  • When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Brigade usually uses water.
  • You're never too old to learn something stupid.
  • Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
  • Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
  • A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
  • If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Submitted by Cathy, Storrington, England!
 

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Original Thoughts by Tim
  • You know how boys and their toys are... if they have to rely on a mechanic to do the job right, well... it's like being told to turn your head and cough.
  • I feel like I'm breaking the rules when I pull up to the "Pick Up" window while sitting behind the wheel of a sedan.
  • I can't help but nervously keep looking in my rear view mirror when I'm at a drive-thru ATM and see Braille on the keypads.
  • Ignorance and arrogance have subtle differences ... an ignorant person usually has no clue, whereas an arrogant person has no clue with an alarming degree of confidence.
  • I'm comfortable with my religious beliefs, but am having difficulty to "Go Tell it on the Mountain" due to geographical issues.
  • Life is mandatory ... enthusiasm is an option.
  • This economy is so bad ... I'm just waiting for my happy place to go into foreclosure.
  • Objectively, I don't beg to differ ... I insist on it.
  • I don't think I'd care to be a kid and eat at McDonald's these days ... the last Happy Meal I saw looked like it was in a bad mood.
  • I feel a little nauseas eating chicken breasts at KFC ... after I find part of my purchase is being donated for breast cancer research.
  • I borrowed a bagel ... it was a Lender's.
  • Realistically.. when nature calls, I don't envision a soft beckoning voice in a sunny meadow filled with butterflies .. it's more like a frantic Tarzan yell.
  • The actions of an idiot are usually more acceptable than the reactions from someone who knows better.
  • There must be a lot of Italians who have mothers named "Mia".
  • Thinking Outside the Box is a bit futile if you're sitting in one.
  • It would be thoughtless of me not to perceive things with an open mind.
  • I really feel uncomfortable buying ground chuck from a butcher named Charles... especially if he's wearing prosthetics.

Submitted by Tim, West Branch, Michigan
 

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Life's Crazy Rules
  • Lerman's Law of Technology: Any technical problem can be overcome given enough time and money. Corollary: You are never given enough time or money.
  • Murphy's First Law for Wives: If you ask your husband to pick up five items at the store and then you add one more as an afterthought, he will forget two of the first five.
  • Law of the Search: The first place to look for anything is the last place you would expect to find it. Corollary: It will not be in the last place you expect to find it.
  • Kauffman's Paradox of the Corporation: The less important you are to the corporation, the more your tardiness or absence is noticed.
  • The Salary Axiom: The pay raise is just large enough to increase your taxes and just small enough to have no effect on your take-home pay.
  • Miller's Law of Insurance: Insurance covers everything except what happens.
  • First Law of Living: As soon as you start doing what you always wanted to be doing, you'll want to be doing something else.
  • Weiner's Law of Libraries: There are no answers, only cross-references.
  • Isaac's Strange Rule of Staleness: Any food that starts out hard will soften when stale. Any food that starts out soft will harden when stale.
  • Kenny's Law of Auto Repair: The part requiring the most consistent repair or replacement will be housed in the most inaccessible location.
  • Second Law of Business Meetings: If there are two possible ways to spell a person's name, you will pick the wrong one. Corollary - If there is only one way to spell a name, you will spell it wrong anyway.
  • The Grocery Bag Law: The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the grocery bag.
  • Yeager's Law: Washing machines break down only during the wash cycle. Corollary: All breakdowns occur on the plumber's day off.
  • Lampner's Law of Employment: When leaving work late, you will go unnoticed. When you leave work early, you will meet the boss in the parking lot.
  • Quile's Consultation Law: The job that pays the most will be offered when there is no time to deliver the services.

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.
 

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Excuses, excuses...
  • Philadelphia's Highway Patrol officers hear all kinds of creative excuses that drivers give for speeding. Here are some of the officers' favourites. By the way, none of them worked.
  • A man told the officer he was rushing to the hospital because had been stung by a bee, and was allergic. "There's the bee right there," he said, pointing to his dashboard. The officer looked. The bee was not only dead, but in a advanced state of decomposition.
  • A man was doing 70 mph on the shoulder of I-95, avoiding the bumper-to-bumper traffic. After a third of a mile, he was stopped by an officer. He jumped out of the car, brushing off his pants, and told the cop he had dropped a cigarette on his lap. "I was looking for a place to park," he explained.
  • A speeder said that he and his wife were trying to have a baby. "My wife is ovulating," he told the officer. "I have to get home right now."
  • An officer stopped a man doing 80 mph. When he asked the driver whether he had seen the speed-limit signs, the man responded, "I went by them so fast I probably missed them."
  • A man going south on I-95 was stopped near Washington Avenue doing 79 mph. "My engine misses, and I'm trying to clean out the carburettor," he told the officer. For good measure, he added, "If I don't go this fast, my car won't go at all."
  • "I'm due in traffic court," one speeder said. "If I'm late they're going to enforce the bench warrant."
  • When an officer told a speeder that the speed limit on the Schuylkill Express way was 50 mph, the driver responded, "Officer, where have you been? It's 65 now."
  • One speeder said simply, "I'm trying to beat my wife home. Don't ask."
  • An elderly person was stopped after doing 73 mph. When told he was getting a ticket, he asked the officer, "Is there a senior citizen's discount?"

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More One Liners ...
  • Middle age is when you are warned to slow down by a doctor instead of a policeman.
  • A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
  • Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of.
  • Better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
  • To sit alone with my conscience will be judgement enough for me.
  • An escalator never breaks . . . it only becomes stairs
  • When you get older, lack of pep is often mistaken for patience.
  • The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.
  • What will today's younger generation tell their children they had to do "without"?
  • If you're doing the speed limit, you're in the way.
  • 18 out of 10 schizophrenics agree
  • It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
  • Bumper Sticker: Excuse me for driving so closely in front of you.
  • Today is the last day of your life, so far.
  • No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.
  • People never grow up; they just learn how to act in public.
  • One half of the world will never understand the other half and it doesn't matter which half you're in.
  • I've discovered the whole problem with the National Debt. Most of us work 5 days a week and the government spends 7.
  • You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.
  • No matter how bad it gets, I'm rich at the dollar store.
  • The tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can't hold it.
  • The minute a man is convinced that he is interesting, he isn't.
  • If you want to know more about paranoids, follow them around.
  • Anything not nailed down is a cat toy.
  • The reason Las Vegas is so crowded is that no one has the plane fare to leave.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England
 

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Random thoughts to start your Friday off right
  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
  • Few things are worse than that moment during an argument when you realize youíre wrong.
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take two trips to bring my groceries in.
  • I think part of a best friendís job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
  • Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when youíve made up your mind that you just arenít doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. Whatíd you do after I didnít answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  • Sometimes I will look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.
  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  • The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.
  • Was learning cursive really necessary?
  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  • Bad decisions make good stories.
  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to. .
  • Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists. .
  • Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
  • I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit. well.

Submitted by Paul, Oklahoma City, OK
 

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More one liners...
  • The first Ten Commandments are the hardest.
  • People who are wrapped up in themselves are overdressed.
  • An expert is someone called in at the last minute to share the blame.
  • A word of advice...don't give it.
  • If we made it illegal, do you think more people would vote?
  • I am logged in...therefore, I am.
  • A journey of a hundred miles starts with an argument over how to load the car.
  • Justice is blind and in some cases...deaf and dumb.
  • To belittle is to be little.
  • When fear knocks at the door, and you answer, there will be no one there.
  • Poverty is a condition with but one advantage, it doesn't take much to improve your lot.
  • The first rule of tinkering is to save all the parts.
  • I'm retiring in Mexico. Sunny, affordable and no predatory reverse mortgages.
  • A pessimist is a man who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.
  • Management's job is to keep 'em too busy to look for other jobs.
  • Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other.
  • Why are lawyers not sworn to tell the truth like all the witnesses in a jury trial?

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.
 

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An ode of English Plurals and Other Unmentionables

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England .
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and
get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
 
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

Submitted by Kathy, Stonington, England
 

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Classic Definitions and Cool Meanings
  • Cigarette: A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other.
  • Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either".
  • Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.
  • Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.
  • Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine willpower is defeated by feminine water-power .
  • Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens & everybody disagrees later on.
  • Classic: A book which people praise, but do not read.
  • Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.
  • Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.
  • Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.
  • Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together.
  • Experience: The name men give to their mistakes.
  • Philosopher: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.
  • Opportunist: A person who starts taking a bath if he accidentally falls into a river.
  • Optimist: A person who while falling from Eiffel Tower says midway "See I am not injured yet."
  • Pessimist: A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, Instead of the first letter in word OPPORTUNITY.
  • Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.
  • Politician: One who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.
  • Doctor: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.
  • Computer Engineer: Someone who gets paid for reading these type of mails.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England
 

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Random Thoughts
  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
  • Few things are worse than that moment during an argument when you realize youíre wrong.
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take two trips to bring my groceries in.
  • I think part of a best friendís job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
  • Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when youíve made up your mind that you just arenít doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. Whatíd you do after I didnít answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  • Sometimes I will look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

Submitted by Paul, Oklahoma City, OK
 

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Creative Puns for Educated Minds
  • The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was - Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
  • I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, - but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .
  • She was only a whisky maker, - but he loved her still.
  • A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class - because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  • The butcher backed into the meat grinder - and got a little behind in his work.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, - it'll still be stationery.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road - and was cited for littering.
  • A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France - would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
  • Two silk worms had a race. - They ended up in a tie.
  • Time flies like an arrow. - Fruit flies like a banana.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. - The police are looking into it.
  • Atheism - is a non-prophet organization.
  • Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. - One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
  • I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger.- Then, it hit me.
  • A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, - 'Keep off the Grass.'
  • A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. - His grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
  • A chicken crossing the road - is poultry in motion.
  • The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison - was a small medium at large.
  • The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray - is now a seasoned veteran.
  • A backward poet - writes inverse.
  • In democracy, it's your vote that counts. - In feudalism, it's your count that votes.
  • When cannibals ate a missionary, - they got a taste of religion.
  • Don't join dangerous cults: - Practice safe sects.

Submitted by former Emmitsburg Mayor Ed!
 

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