View Full Version : [Linguistic] paradoxes

07-19-2008, 04:37 PM
1. Why do models all walk on the RUNway?
2. Why do women buy a pair of panties but only one bra?
3. If the funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their lights off?
4. If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
5. When the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
6. Why is the word abbreviation so long?
7. When companies ship styrofoam, what do they pack it in?
8. Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?
9. Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?
10. Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
11. Why are cigarettes sold at gas stations when smoking is prohibited?
12. How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work?
13. If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?
14. If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?
15. If buttered toast always lands buttered side down and a cat always lands on its feet, what would happen if you tied a piece of buttered toast on the back of a cat and dropped it?
16. If you are driving at the speed of light and you turn on your headlights, do they do anything?
17. Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?
18. You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes -- why
can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?
19. Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
20. Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
21. What does Geronimo say when he jumps out of a plane?
22. If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?
23. If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
24. If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?
25. Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor when you can't drink and drive?
26. If a cow laughed, would milk come out it's nose?
27. What do you do when you see an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?
28. What's another word for thesaurus?
29. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
30. Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
31. Why does Porky Pig wear a shirt but no pants.
32. Also, Why does Porky Pig wear a towel around his waist after a shower, and then remove the towel and put on a shirt with no pants?

07-19-2008, 04:48 PM
Let's say there is a bullet which can shoot through any barrier. Let's also say there is an absolutely bullet-proof armor which no object can penetrate. What will happen if such a bullet hits such an armor?

Can a man drown in the fountain of eternal life?

Your mission is not to accept the mission. Do you accept?

A girl goes into the past and kills her Grandmother. Since her Grandmother is dead, the girl was never born. If she were never born, she never killed her grandmother.

If the temperature this morning is 0 degrees and the Weather Channel says, "it will be twice as cold tomorrow", what will the temperature be?

Answer truthfully (yes or no) to the following question: Will the next word you say be 'no'?

Let the God Almighty create a stone, which he can not pick up!

07-19-2008, 04:52 PM
Which is better, eternal happiness or a ham sandwich? It would appear that eternal happiness is better, but this is really not so! After all, nothing is better than eternal happiness, and a ham sandwich is certainly better than nothing. Therefore a ham sandwich is better than eternal happiness.


Proof that I am Dracula

(1) Everyone is afraid of Dracula.

(2) Dracula is afraid of only me.

Therefore I am Dracula.

Doesn't that argument sound like just a silly joke? Well it isn't; it is valid. Since everyone is afraid of Dracula, then Dracula is afraid of Dracula. So Dracula is afraid of Dracula, but also is afraid of no one but me. Therefore I must be Dracula!


Cellini and Bellini

... whenever Cellini made a sign, he inscribed a false statement on it, and whenever Bellini made a sign, he inscribed a true statement on it. Also, we shall assume that Cellini and Bellini were the only sign-makers of their time...

You come across the following sign:


Who made the sign? If Cellini made it, then he wrote a true sentence on it - which is impossible. If Bellini made it, then the sentence on it is false - which is again impossible. So who made it?

Now, you can't get out of this one by saying that the sentence on the sign is not well-grounded! It certainly is well-grounded; it states the historical fact that the sign was made by Cellini; if it was made by Cellini then the sign is true, and if it wasn't, the sign is false. So what is the solution?

The solution, of course, is that I gave you contradictory information. If you actually came across the above sign, then it would mean either that Cellini sometimes wrote true inscriptions on signs (contrary to what I told you) or that at least one other sign-maker sometimes wrote false statements on signs (again, contrary to what I told you). So this is not really a paradox, but a swindle.

07-19-2008, 04:53 PM
i bealive the word or loking for is oximoronic not paradox and some of those statme are actualy sofmoronic

07-19-2008, 05:28 PM
and a few non sequiturs (dracula) all people from tokyo are japanese therefore all japanese are from tokyo.

if you had powdered water what would you add?

its cold as hell

why is the word "little" twice as big as the word "big"

if you are a gay norweigan or greek, does that make you straight?

07-19-2008, 05:31 PM

The last one is the truth.

Lex Lugor
07-19-2008, 05:57 PM
A girl goes into the past and kills her Grandmother. Since her Grandmother is dead, the girl was never born. If she were never born, she never killed her grandmother.

*head explodes*

Lex Lugor
07-19-2008, 05:58 PM
nice reads :)

07-19-2008, 08:58 PM
i am the paradoxitour and i do not agree with this thread only 1/3 of the statment can be counsided atual paradoxes and evrething else is blantet ignorece

{walks in my tardis snaps my finger and gose backin in time to see my self when i was none as the pardoxitour the time loard and tel hime to go into the futer to kill wera befour he sing up for the WU corp and he tells me to go ferther into the past a jake of into the gene pool and creat life)

07-19-2008, 09:07 PM
catch 22s is what they are, Jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron and so far I haven't seen any.

07-19-2008, 10:07 PM
If a period ends a sentence - why does a womens period seem like it never ends?

I ALWAYS know what im talkin bout SUMTIMES...

07-19-2008, 11:22 PM
everything i say is a lie. in fact, i'm lying right now.

07-19-2008, 11:39 PM
one word paradox: nothing (why the fuck would you name something that doesn't exist?!) = no thing - thazz ok it still can be something that is not a "thing", but one must admit the word nothing makes no real sense, as it describes something that is nothing?
and also there is no nothing coz there is always something, isn't there?

07-19-2008, 11:41 PM
^^oh and this is one which stands for most languages somehow (not just english)

07-20-2008, 03:27 AM
The unexpected hanging

[A man condemned to be hanged] was sentenced on Saturday. "The hanging will take place at noon," said the judge to the prisoner, "on one of the seven days of next week. But you will not know which day it is until you are so informed on the morning of the day of the hanging."

The judge was known to be a man who always kept his word. The prisoner, accompanied by his lawyer, went back to his cell. As soon as the two men were alone, the lawyer broke into a grin. "Don't you see?" he exclaimed. "The judge's sentence cannot possibly be carried out."

"I don't see," said the prisoner.

"Let me explain They obviously can't hang you next Saturday. Saturday is the last day of the week. On Friday afternoon you would still be alive and you would know with absolute certainty that the hanging would be on Saturday. You would know this before you were told so on Saturday morning. That would violate the judge's decree."

"True," said the prisoner.

"Saturday, then is positively ruled out," continued the lawyer. "This leaves Friday as the last day they can hang you. But they can't hang you on Friday because by Thursday only two days would remain: Friday and Saturday. Since Saturday is not a possible day, the hanging would have to be on Friday. Your knowledge of that fact would violate the judge's decree again. So Friday is out. This leaves Thursday as the last possible day. But Thursday is out because if you're alive Wednesday afternoon, you'll know that Thursday is to be the day."

"I get it," said the prisoner, who was beginning to feel much better. "In exactly the same way I can rule out Wednesday, Tuesday and Monday. That leaves only tomorrow. But they can't hang me tomorrow because I know it today!"

... He is convinced, by what appears to be unimpeachable logic, that he cannot be hanged without contradicting the conditions specified in his sentence. Then on Thursday morning, to his great surprise, the hangman arrives. Clearly he did not expect him. What is more surprising, the judge's decree is now seen to be perfectly correctly. The sentence can be carried out exactly as stated.

07-20-2008, 03:29 AM
An object is "grue" if it is green until, say, January 1, 2500, and blue thereafter. Is the law "All emeralds are grue" confirmed by observations of green emeralds?

07-20-2008, 03:32 AM
In a certain village there is a man, so the paradox runs, who is a barber; this barber shaves all and only those men in the village who do not shave themselves. Query: Does the barber shave himself?

Any man in this village is shaved by the barber if and only if he is not shaved by himself. Therefore in particular the barber shaves himself if and only if he does not. We are in trouble if we say the barber shaves himself and we are in trouble if we say he does not.

07-20-2008, 03:33 AM


Guarded By Martyrs
07-20-2008, 03:56 AM
Great thread wera...

I always liked this one :

Can you cry under water ?

07-20-2008, 02:32 PM
What about stuff like this?

Proving that n = n + 1

(a) (n + 1)² = n² + 2n + 1

(b) (n + 1)² - (2n + 1) = n²

(c) Subtracting n(2n + 1) from both sides and factoring, we have

(d) (n + 1)² - (n + 1)(2n + 1) = n² - n(2n +1)

(e) Adding ¼(2n + 1)² to both sides of (d) yields

(n + 1)² - (n + 1)(2n + 1) + ¼(2n + 1)² = n² - n(2n + 1) + ¼(2n + 1)²

This may be written:

(f) [(n + 1) - ½(2n + 1)]² = [(n - ½(2n + 1)]²

Taking square roots of both sides,

(g) n + 1 - ½(2n + 1) = n - ½(2n + 1)

and, therefore,

(h) n = n + 1

Kasner & Newman, p. 184

The trick here is to ignore the fact that there are two square roots for any positive number, one positive and one negative: the square roots of 4 are 2 and -2, which can be written as ±2. So (g) should properly read:

±(n + 1 - ½(2n + 1)) = ±(n - ½(2n + 1))

07-20-2008, 02:33 PM
Proving that 3 + 2 = 0

Assume A + B = C, and assume A = 3 and B = 2.

Multiply both sides of the equation A + B = C by (A + B).

We obtain A² + 2AB + B² = C(A + B)

Rearranging the terms we have

A² + AB - AC = - AB - B² + BC

Factoring out (A + B - C), we have

A(A + B - C) = - B(A + B - C)

Dividing both sides by (A + B - C), that is, dividing by zero, we get A = - B, or A + B = 0, which is evidently absurd.


Proving that 2 = 1

Here is the version offered by Augustus De Morgan: Let x = 1. Then x² = x. So x² - 1 = x -1. Dividing both sides by x -1, we conclude that x + 1 = 1; that is, since x = 1, 2 = 1.

Quine, p.5

Assume that

a = b. (1)

Multiplying both sides by a,

a² = ab. (2)

Subtracting b² from both sides,

a² - b² = ab - b² . (3)

Factorizing both sides,

(a + b)(a - b) = b(a - b). (4)

Dividing both sides by (a - b),

a + b = b. (5)

If now we take a = b = 1, we conclude that 2 = 1. Or we can subtract b from both sides and conclude that a, which can be taken as any number, must be equal to zero. Or we can substitute b for a and conclude that any number is double itself. Our result can thus be interpreted in a number of ways, all equally ridiculous.

Northrop, p. 85

The paradox arises from a disguised breach of the arithmetical prohibition on division by zero, occurring at (5): since a = b, dividing both sides by (a - b) is dividing by zero, which renders the equation meaningless. As Northrop goes on to show, the same trick can be used to prove, e.g., that any two unequal numbers are equal, or that all positive whole numbers are equal.

07-20-2008, 02:38 PM
catch 22s is what they are, Jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron and so far I haven't seen any.

....and your arrogant ignorance continues.

07-20-2008, 02:40 PM
hahhahaaha, psycho, thank you for dropping by

07-20-2008, 02:46 PM
no problem whatsoever .

07-20-2008, 05:55 PM
catch 22s is what they are, Jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron and so far I haven't seen any.
thats what iv been saying