Winston Churchill and I agree they are. They’re called paraprosdokians, and can be aphorisms such as, “Money can’t buy happiness…” surprising you with a comical finish “…it just makes misery easier to live with.”
Maybe the most famous one is Rodney Dangerfield’s trademark quip, “Take my wife, please.” Winston Churchill said of a rival, “He’s a very modest man and has much to be modest about.” Groucho Marx wisecracked, “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.”
I pass them along just for the fun of it.
NOTE: The word paraprosdokians is a complicated Greek compound St. Paul would have been proud to use, but he never did and neither did Aristotle, since the word was a 20th century invention. Here are some favorites.
1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
5. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
6. Knowledge knows a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom knows not to put it in a fruit salad.
7. Behind every successful man is a woman. Behind his fall is often another woman.
8. A clear conscience is often the sign of a bad memory.
9. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
10. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
11. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
12. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
13. Attending church won’t make you a Christian any more than being in a garage makes you a car.
14. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
15. I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat. —Will Rogers
16. A bus is a vehicle that runs faster when you are chasing it than when you are waiting for it.
17. To steal an idea from someone is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
18. I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling.like the passenger in his car. (I know, sick, right?)