Daniel T. Richards

Daniel T. Richards

Digital Strategist. Rhetorician. All Around Swell Guy.

Dave Barry: Master of Paraprosdokian

Dave Barry: This is the look of a humor columnist.If you’re not already a fan of Dave Barry, just stop. Whatever it is you’re doing can wait. Dave Barry cannot.

Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist formerly with the Miami Herald. Though semi-retired, you’ll have years of entertainment with his archive of columns—not to mention his books.

Barry also writes an annual “Year in Review.” It’s a hysterical and poignant look at recent history. What makes it particularly enjoyable is Barry’s unique use of paraprosdokian, the “Jack Handey” figure of speech where you subvert the audience’s expectations from the beginning of a sentence to the end. One gem:

“In legal affairs, the Supreme Court overturns the Defense of Marriage Act, eliciting high praise from many politicians who enacted the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Just a snippet of the greatness that is Dave Barry. The review is well worth your time. And by studying his technique, you’ll become a better rhetor. Happy persuading in the New Year!