Shoeless Paraprosdokian

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, you will be a mile away and he won’t have any shoes.

— Unknown

How could I resist? After yesterday’s exhortation to embrace empathy, it seemed only fitting to also quote a brilliant variation on the old moccasins quote.

It turns out that the above quote is a perfect example of a paraprosdokian – a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. Other good examples include my previous post from Ellen DeGeneres or my all time favorite, “When I die I want to go peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather did . . . and not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”