“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong”
I don’t know who said that, but it does sound like something Groucho Marx might have said. Because Groucho Marx was the master of the paraprosdokian sentence.
Okay, let me tell you something you don’t know. 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 re-frame or re-interpret the first part, often with comedic effect. Para is Greek for against, as in paradox or paranormal, and prosdokia is Greek for expectation.
I bet you didn’t know that, right?
Here are two more examples of paraprosdokian expressions:
Winston Churchill said, “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing — after they have tried everything else.”
And according to Albert Einstein, “the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”
Good stuff, huh?
Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.