4. Paraprosdokians

Posted: 2013 年 10 月 15 日 in Logology

Paraprosdokians are sentences with ambushes. They result when the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected, causing the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part, which are ideal for humorous or dramatic effect. Teachers can ask their students to translate the following paraprosdokians into Chinese, and discuss why they make people laugh or think.

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it. (Anonymous)

  2. I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t. (Groucho Marx)

  3. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. (Groucho Marx)

  4. If you are going through hell, keep going. (Winston Churchill)

  5. There will be a rain dance on Friday, weather permitting. (Steven Wright)

  6. You can always count on Americans to do the right thing–after they’ve tried everything else. (Winston Churchill)

  7. If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try skydiving. (Anonymous)

  8. Mary had a little lamb; the midwife was surprised. (Anonymous)

  9. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance. (Anonymous)

  10. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. (Anonymous)

  11. Two elderly women are at a Catskill Mountain resort, and one of them says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other says, “Yeah, I know, and such small portions.” (Woody Allen)

  12. Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. (Groucho Marx)

  13. I decided to go on a draconian diet, cutting alcohol, fat, and sugar. In two weeks, I lost fourteen days. (Tim Maia)

  14. We broke up because I saw her lying–under another man. (Dong Benson)

  15. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. (Anonymous)




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