Questions tagged [paraprosdokian]

Figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is surprisingly unexpected, and causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

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What's the meaning of "spit" in "my own spit and faith"?

What's the meaning of "spit" in the following statement? I believe in a good laugh, a day's fishing, a bit of gardening. I was very proud of my old greenhouse, made out of my own spit and faith. ...
2 votes
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What is a “big-ender pair”?

In the sci.math newsgroup ca. 23 Mar 2013, in thread Subject: Re: math formulae?, I saw the following: > >"Is the tournment liken to a bridge tournment? The problem is vague. > > As ...
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Is the phrase "Take my wife – please!" a paraprosdokian?

I was reading the wiki page about paraprosdokians and I don't understand why the phrase: Take my wife – please! is classified as one.
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12 votes
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What does "There but for the grace of God — goes God." mean?

It is a supposedly witty paraprosdokian said by Churchill. But I (and possibly some other people whose first language is not English) don't get it. Can someone explain what it means? Do English native ...
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92 votes
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Is there a name for this type of sentence structure: "She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say 'when'"?

Comedians seem to use phrases that employ this type of sentence structure - is there a name for it? Examples of Groucho Marx's one liners seem to fit this pattern — and if memory serves, Emo Philips. ...
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