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Peter J. Devlin column: Fun with paraprosdokians

2:55 PM, Sep. 13, 2013
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Remember the phrase "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls?" It was recited weekly on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" NBC Television program in the late 1960s, referring to a then-current encyclopedia (last published in 1997).

I mention it because I learned a new word this week: "Paraprosdokian." It's defined as a figure of speech where the latter part of the sentence puts a whole new twist on a familiar saying.

A friend sent a list of 25 paraprosdokians she'd found on the World Wide Web. ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports