Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chiastic Humor

John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963), the 35th president of the United States, was a Master of Chiasmus. No other president used as extensively - or effectively - the art of chiasmus. His witty speeches included the famous: 

Nearly any statement could be rearranged and reiterated to yield an intelligible chiasmus (except maybe this one), delivering in the second half a different intonation and emphasis filled with scorn, skepticism, or irony. These interesting linguistic algorithms are often mildly amusing if not downright humorous. Here's a few constructions of relational reversal to brighten your day. While humor won't fix society's needs, it'll give society a needed fix. Just beware of life's shortcuts, taking them may cut short your life. I, jokingly of course, wouldn't be caught dead in any of these dead jokes. 



Jokes often record the funniest and happiest moments of the happiest and funniest minds. 

The rich may be idle, but the idle will rarely ever get rich.

Runner: I live to run. 
Politician: I run to live. 

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