If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


For The Love Of Lobster Tales by Shari Randall is now available to download free for a limited time. Go to Black Cat Mysteries at: https://bcmystery.com/ to get your free copy! Thanks for the freebie, Shari.

Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Paraprosdokain: Expecting the Unexpected by KM Rockwood

The word “paraprosdokain” is derived from Greek meaning “against expectations,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In our speech and writing, this figure of speech, in which the latter part of the passage is surprising or unexpected, is used for dramatic or humorous effect. It can cause the listener or reader to go back and re-interpret the first part.

Paraprosdokains have been around since ancient times. Aristotle once said, "On his feet he wore…blisters."

Some are part of the common lexicon.

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.”

“There are three kinds of people in the world—those who can count and those who can’t.”

“Things are never so bad they can’t get worse.”

Our most popular comedians often use paraprosdokains to great effect. One of the best known is Henny Youngman’s “Take my wife. Please!”

“When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” –Rodney Dangerfield

"Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read."—Jim Brewer

“It isn’t the ups and downs that make life difficult; it’s the jerks.”—Charlie Chaplin

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn't it." Groucho Marx

“The company accountant is shy and retiring. He’s shy a quarter of a million dollars. That’s why he’s retiring.”—Milton Berle

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”—Will Rogers

“I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like all the passengers in his car.”—Will Rogers

Politics can inspire paraprosdokains. Winston Churchill loved them.

"There but for the grace of God—goes God." Winston Churchill

“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.”—Winston Churchill

Men occasionally stumble over truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”—Winston Churchill

“I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they'd never expect it.” –Jack Handey

"I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

“War does not determine who is right — only who is left.” Bertrand Russell

Popular media has given us some wonderful examples.

“If I could just say a few words… I'd be a better public speaker." Homer Simpson

“If I am reading this graph correctly—I'd be very surprised." Stephen Colbert

“Her lips said ‘No,’ but her eyes said ‘Read my lips.’”—Frasier

Writers can use paraprosdokains to introduce a bit of humor or drama in their work.

And remember:  You’re never too old to learn something stupid.



Margaret S. Hamilton said...

what fun! Thanks for posting.

Jim Jackson said...

Thanks for the early morning smile.

Kait said...

These are outstanding, Kathleen - I have heard and loved all of the sayings, but never knew there was a name for them (that is almost as much fun as the sayings).

KM Rockwood said...

Our language is fun! It can be manipulated in all kinds of amusing ways.

Kaye George said...

I love these! I even laughed at the ones I've heard before. Those old comics were SO good! Thanks!!

Shari Randall said...

These are awesome! Thanks for the day-brightener!