"This is a great CD . . . for me to poop on!"
June 16, 2013 2:04 AM   Subscribe

What is the formal name of this type of humor in Greek rhetoric? It's one of my favorite forms of humor: when you begin a sentence in such a way as to imply a certain ending, only to have the actual ending upend the anticipated meaning. Surely there's a fancy Greek term for this. A couple of other examples: "John! My favorite student . . . just left, so I can see you now." "This movie is great . . . if you like to vomit for 2 hours."
posted by gnossie to Education (4 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
posted by BibiRose at 2:26 AM on June 16, 2013

Best answer: I think gnossie is looking for a trope. How about paraprosdokian?
posted by ipsative at 2:46 AM on June 16, 2013 [11 favorites]

Garden path sentence! http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_path_sentence
posted by rosa at 5:50 AM on June 16, 2013

How about paraprosdokian?

It's worth noting that while paraprosdokian is both fancy and greek it's not a term than actual classical Greek rhetoricians used or would have recognized. It's of pretty recent coinage. That it needed to be coined, mind you, suggests that there may not be a good classical alternative.
posted by yoink at 6:09 AM on June 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

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