Someone forwarded me a list of paraprosdokians this morning. I’ve heard a few of these witty aphorisms before, but never knew what they were called. From Wikipedia
A paraprosdokian (“para pros DOE kee un,” I think) 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.
Sounds like a concept that fits nicely with my Jerk Theory…but that’s a discussion for another post.
Many of these sound like Bob Littlefield’s Rules of Scottsdale City Government I posted a while back. I was going to pick out one or two of these and write a humorous post to apply to our City Council. However, more than a few of them apply. So I’ll just list a dozen of the most applicable:
- Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
- Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
- If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
- We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
- I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
- I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
- A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
- I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
- I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
- You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
- To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
- A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.
Sam West sent one out yesterday that also applies nicely. It’s a quote from Will Rogers:
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
And a final favorite for restoring perspective after City Council meetings:
I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.