Jun 6, 2014

Wordology, Anti-Proverbs

Also called perverbs (a contraction of perverse proverbs), thses are permutations of common proverbs. a known saying that has been modified in a way that makes it surprising, confounding or otherwise humorous. There are dozens of ways of altering proverbs, common sayings and phrases. It has been suggested that the original meaning of the term perverb was to describe two proverbs that had been spliced together like a sort of whole-sentence portmanteau. Take the perverb “every dog has a silver lining,” a combination of “every dog has its day” and “every cloud has a silver lining.” As with the further examples below, you can see that the two hybridized proverbs are not random; rather, they follow a certain format that both have in common:
"Taste makes waist"
“Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like a banana”
"Nothing succeeds like excess."
"When marriage is outlawed, only outlaws will have in-laws."
“The road to hell is the spice of life.”
"If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to tweet about it, did it really happen."

Anti-proverbs can take other forms beyond this type of splicing, as in “a penny saved is a penny taxed” and “slaughter is the best medicine.”

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