Words Worth: Paraprosdokians – 20170724

I must admit that I am a punster. I enjoy a good pun and perhaps even a not-so-good pun and I am often the originator of puns much to the groans of my friends and relatives.

Since I find word play interesting and entertaining, I thought I would bring JBRish readers a few Paraprosdokians to “enjoy.”

A paraprosdokian is a form wordplay or literary device. It is a phrase or sentence that ends in an unexpected way which causes readers to reinterpret the opening phrase or sentence of a text. Often, it is used to create comic effect. Some paraprosdokians change the meaning of an initial phrase, and play on the double meanings of the words.

Simply put, a paraprosdokian is a linguistic U-turn that results in humor or surprise.

Source: Literary Devices and Terms

Today’s Paraprosdokians


  • Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a bottle of water.

  • Take my advice — I’m not using it.

  • Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they’re at home when you wish they were.

  • Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

  • I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.

If you enjoy language, wordplay, etc., check out other WordsWorth posts HERE.



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Words Worth – PUN-ishment 20160514

pun; (noun)

“a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings.”**


At JBRIsh, which really is not gibberish, we enjoy a good pun as much as anyone and perhaps a bit more. Our readers, friends and others send them to us all the time. I thought it was about time that we shared those puns which we find most amusing. Of course your mileage may vary, but we do hope at least some of them bring a smile to your face. A good pun is a gem, but one that is not so good is just PUN-ishment!


  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

  • Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

  • A backward poet writes inverse.

  • There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Do you have a favorite pun or a real groaner? If so, send it along in the comment section and perhaps it will make our most appreciated list!


JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

Words Worth – English Can be Weird!

I have often heard it said that English is one of the most difficult languages to learn because the grammar rules have so many exceptions. As our Words Worth selection below also reveals, English provides a challenge to those learning how to spell correctly!

Yes, English can be weird. It can be understood through tough, thorough thought though.
“Yes, English can be weird. It can be understood through tough, thorough thought though.”

Do you have any short English examples we can include? Leave them in the comments below!



JBRish.com originally published this post

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

The Job of Editing as a Grammar Referee

What publication are you reading if you see the following in print?

  • naïve
  • teen-ager
  • coöperate

Well, if you must know, it is The New Yorker

Mary Norris is the copy editor for The New Yorker and she has some rather interesting tidbits to share about editing, language, readers and writers.

Copy Editor Mary Norris

As an example, Ms. Norris pointed to the following sentence that appeared in the magazine:

“Last Tuesday, Sarah Palin, the pre-Trump embodiment of populist no-nothingism in the Republican Party, endorsed Trump.”

She was apparently raked over the coals, so-to-speak, for not catching the error [Did you?].

Mary Norris also quoted E.B. White’s comment about commas in The New Yorker: “They fall with the precision of knives outlining a body.”

If you enjoy exploring the English language in this way and learning about the process of editing, I urge you to watch this engaging presentation by Mary Morris via here TED talk.

You can watch the presentation HERE.

Mary Norris is author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen


While JBRish is pleased to write about Mary Norris and her TED talk, the original content is derived from the linked resources above.

See previous Words Worth entries HERE

English Anguish

I don’t declare that I am a grammar expert and I do have to look up certain grammar rules from time-to-time. The difference is that I take that extra step and do the research.

I am not an official member of the grammar police even though there are certain violations of English grammar rules that annoy me.

The proper use of then and than, the differences between two, two and too and of course…



are most disconcerting!

Many people are confused about when to use commas, but as you can see (below) it is even more confusing when they are not used.


Credit where credit is due. Even though JBRish is pleased to present the above as infotainment, it is not original to us. These were originally presented as part of a BuzzFeed post. You can see all of their grammar gift recommendations by clicking here: