Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
It’s fun to use obscure literary and rhetorical terms that nobody knows for techniques that we use all the time.
All paraprosdokian is, it turns out, it ending a phrase or sentence with something surprising. It’s used a lot, though hardly ever with this tongue-twister of a name associated with it. It’s from the Greek, natch.
Here’s a great example of paraprosdokian from Dorothy Parker: “If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.”
Funny, huh? Usually paraprosdokian is used to humorous effect. (More examples here.)
Paraprosdokian. Go ahead and use it!