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Old 10-20-2010, 04:46 PM   #1
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Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

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"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." is a grammatically valid sentence in the English language, used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated linguistic constructs. It has been discussed in literature since 1972 when the sentence was used by William J. Rapaport, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo.[1] It was posted to Linguist List by Rapaport in 1992.[2] It was also featured in Steven Pinker's 1994 book The Language Instinct.[3]
Slow day.

Clcik here for more. Someone make sure Al doesn't get mired down in this - it could last for years.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:46 PM   #2
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I thought this was going to be about the worst team in the NFL.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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I myself am a homophone woman. My absolute favorite part of taking classes online was getting to collect them from my fellow scholars. Here are a few jewels:

In management I don't feel it is appropriate to embarrass people in front of their piers, just to set an example.

We have finished as the #1 store in the company for the first quarter but we do have some stores that are right on our heals.

Whoever it may have been that was behind the scenes of Hitler's rain, is why he had free rain.

Can anyone add some incite on the best way to approach speaker notes?

The tools for sighting authors that you base your information are so easy to use and take very little time.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #4
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It doesn't seem to make sense. The head ("buffalo") of the subject ("Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo") is singular, so the head ("buffalo") of the verb phrase ("buffalo Buffalo buffalo") should have been singular agreeing -- i.e., "buffaloes"), and likewise in the relative clause modifying the subject. The least correction to make it a grammatical English sentence would give "Buffalo buffalo (that) Buffalo buffalo buffaloes buffaloes Buffalo buffalo."

Edit: After reviewing the Wikipedia entry, I see that "buffalo" is counted as a plural noun (as in "All buffalo eat grass."), which I didn't understand at first (I thought it would be "All buffaloes eat grass."). With that understanding, I guess, after all, it does make sense.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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I myself am a homophone woman.
And you tell people? Don't ask, don't tell!!

especially if you prefer homographs to heterographs

I once had a chemical engineering student write an evaluation that said I had "dilutions of grandeur"
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
It doesn't seem to make sense. The head ("buffalo") of the subject ("Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo) is singular, so the head ("buffalo") of the verb phrase ("buffalo Buffalo buffalo") should have been singular agreeing -- i.e., "buffaloes"), and likewise in the relative clause modifying the subject. The least correction to make it a grammatical English sentence would give "Buffalo buffalo (that) Buffalo buffalo buffaloes buffaloes Buffalo buffalo."
I can only digest it if I leave "whom" in it, as the article explains.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
It doesn't seem to make sense. The head ("buffalo") of the subject ("Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo) is singular, so the head ("buffalo") of the verb phrase ("buffalo Buffalo buffalo") should have been singular agreeing -- i.e., "buffaloes"), and likewise in the relative clause modifying the subject. The least correction to make it a grammatical English sentence would give "Buffalo buffalo (that) Buffalo buffalo buffaloes buffaloes Buffalo buffalo."
I think "buffalo" is both singular and plural (as in "give me a home where the buffalo roam"--if that were singular it would be "roams").

I confess I can't keep the sentence straight in my head anyway--it's like "I know you know I know you know (etc.)" and tracking the turns and layers. But it's pretty cool.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:23 AM   #8
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Chicken, chicken, chicken.
If it starts to wear you out, skip ahead to 3:00. The questions from the audience are excellent
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