Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Eight buffalos make grammatical sense

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”

This 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.

If the capitalization is ignored, the sentence can be read another way:

Buffaloa buffalon buffalov Buffaloa buffalon Buffaloa buffalon buffalov.
That is, bison from Buffalo intimidate (other) bison from Buffalo that bison from Buffalo intimidate.


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