If I Agreed With You, We’d Both Be Wrong

After a friend and her husband split up, she stayed in the family house and he moved into a flat.  A few weeks later he came round for a family meal, after which he said to her “There are many things I miss about living here, but you’re not one of them.” Fortunately she’s the sort that can see the funny side of a remark like that and appreciate it for what it is (apart from rude) – a paraprosdokian. That’s 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. It’s often used for humorous effect, sometimes producing an anti-climax.

Winston Churchill was rather good at paraprosdokians:

“A modest man, who has much to be modest about.”

and

“There but for the grace of God….goes God.”

Here are some others, authors unknown, but forwarded to me by Sylvia Luckman:

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

Evening news is where they begin with “Good Evening” and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk I have a work station.

Dolphins are so clever that after a few weeks in captivity they can train people to stand on the 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 a form that says “Person to notify in the event of emergency” I always write “Doctor.”

I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

I saw a women wearing a T-shirt which said “Guess” on it. So I said “Implants?”

Behind every successful man is a woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

Hospitality: making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.

Some people cause happiness wherever they go. Others, whenever they go.

I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.

I always take life with a pinch of salt. Plus a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and then name whatever you hit as the target.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

A bus is a vehicle that travels twice as fast when you’re running after it as it does when you’re in it.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

If you know any good ones, please send them to me.

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