Monday, 4 July 2011

Paraprosdokians, part 1: A guest makes her own logic

Yeah, I know. I too had to break it down into its component syllables before I could wrap my tongue around it. Apparently, a paraprosdokian is a phrase in two parts or more, where the final section takes the reader (or listener) in a new an unexpected direction. Obviously, this is used quite a lot in humorous situations.
Not quite so obviously, Julie is the person who brought this to my attention, in an email saying that this seemed like Gem country to her. I'll tell you what, she's not wrong. Here are some examples from the email Julie sent me.

  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.
  • We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is
  • I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you (a very Gem-like example, to my mind).
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute
    to skydive twice.
  • I always take life with a pinch of salt. Plus a slice of lemon,
    and a shot of tequila.
  • (this one is my personal favourite of the bunch) A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

Coming back to True Gems, the phrases that are verbal slips more than witticisms, I am proud to introduce a new guest star to the site. Maddy is the daughter of a friend and a friend in her own right. Her grammar and spelling, like many of her generation, could be better, but she's eloquent and a budding poet.

This time, Maddy was talking to a young friend of hers, one who was feeling a little down about his own abilities. Maddy, being the compassionate young lady she is, decided to console him.

A little hint, Maddy - if you're trying to cheer up someone who feels like they're a little slow, try not employing Gem logic. Apparently, it took a few minutes of hurried explanation (and not a little laughter on both sides) to clear that one up. Fair play to Maddy, though - she did tell me all about it herself.

In the meantime, since I have posted a few non-Julie Gems now, I have had a few people ask me how Julie feels about sharing 'her' site with other folk.

Does that answer your question? I hope it does, because that's probably the best you're going to get...
Finally, I teased the people who have become Facebook fans of Julie's Gems yesterday. Today, I widen the net and pique the curiosity of others too.
On Friday, I will be giving you some small cause for moderate excitement, all thanks to a man named Ambrose Bierce, the author of The Devil's Dictionary.

Tata for now - see you Wednesday with another teaser!