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Paraprosdokian Sentences

This is from Dan, who offers us a new word and an idea worth understanding and enjoying. He suggests looking at Wikipedia’s link for more paraprosdokians:

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 reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. I hope you enjoy these!

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Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2010, at 11:28 am

Excuses Sent by Parents to Schools

Sometimes I receive a humorous e-mail that is an excellent example of the importance of good grammar and communication. Then I have to pass it along to you. I promise to write something more serious next week but hope you smile when you read these.

Apparently, these are real notes written by parents. (Spellings have been left intact.)

1. My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.

2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and i had her shot.

3. Dear school: please ecsc’s john being absent on jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.

4. Please excuse roland from p.e. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

5. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

6. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

7. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

8. Please excuse ray friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

9. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.

10. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

11. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because i don’t know what size she wear.

12. Please excuse jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it monday. We thought it was sunday.

13. Sally won’t be in school a week from friday. We have to attend her funeral.

14. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

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Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008, at 4:39 am

You Could Look it Up

I hope you enjoy this. Thanks to Peter H. for sending it.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is up. It’s easy to understand up, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake up?

At a meeting, why does a topic come up? Why do we speak up, why are the officers up for election, and why is it up to the secretary to write up a report?

We call up our friends
and we use it to brighten up a room,
and polish up the silver.
We warm up the leftovers
and clean up the kitchen.
We lock up the house
and some guys fix up the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir up trouble,
line up for tickets,
work up an appetite,
and think up excuses.

To be dressed is one thing
but to be dressed up is special.

And this up is confusing:
A drain must be opened up
because it is stopped up.

We open up a store in the morning
but we close it up at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed up about up!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of up,
look the word up in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary,
it takes up almost 1/4 of the page
and can add up to about thirty definitions.

If you are up to it,
you might try building up a list
of the many ways up is used.
It will take up a lot of your time,
but if you don’t give up,
you may wind up with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain,
we say it is clouding up.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing up.
When it rains, it wets up the earth.

When it doesn’t rain for awhile,
things dry up.

One could go on and on,
but I’ll wrap it up,
for now my time is up, so …

Time to shut up!


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Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007, at 2:06 pm