A watchdog keeps the best time. This is an example of a riddle. A riddle is a type of folk literature wherein deceptive language obscures the true meaning of a question.
Riddles encourage new perspectives on language as they often involve a play on words. Dual meanings of words used in riddles highlight the peculiarities of a language.
Riddles have been used since ancient times. According to a Greek legend, the Sphinx of Giza posed a riddle to all travelers. Each traveler answered the riddle incorrectly and was eaten by the Sphinx until Oedipus answered the riddle correctly and killed the Sphinx.
In the United States, riddles are the most beloved by children. When children begin to understand language well enough to see dual meanings to words, riddles become especially humorous to them. Appreciation for humorous riddles is most common between the ages of 6 and 10. The hilarity of riddles is likely to wear off by adulthood, but riddles still hold potential benefits for grownups. According to Psychology Today, riddles and other logic puzzles may slow the deterioration of an aging brain. Difficult riddles are more likely to integrate different types of thought and are consequently more likely to create new associations. These associations are the most powerful.