Friday, November 13, 2009


While at the Cory Doctorow reading, a nearby audience member caught my attention and said, "Excuse me. Is that a Radcliffe rugby sweatshirt?" Indeed, it was, and it unfolded that he shared my alma mater and even my concentration, though he graduated before my time. It was nice to have my affiliation recognized, and share a few minutes of common-history-based socializing.

This post's featured word is a bit of a stretch, but I have been waiting for awhile to use it and I just want to take it off the queue. A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the second part of a sentence or phrase is unexpected in a way that causes the audience to reframe the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.

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