Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

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Believe it
or not, this sentence is grammatically correct and has meaning:
“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”
First devised by professor William J. Rapaport in 1972, the sentence
uses various meanings and parts of speech for the term “buffalo”
(and its related proper noun “Buffalo”) to make an extremely
hard-to-parse sentence.

Although most
people know “buffalo” as both a singular and plural term
for bison, and “Buffalo” as a city in New York, “buffalo”
is also a verb meaning “to bully, confuse, deceive, or intimidate.”
Using these definitions, Wikipedia suggests the sentence can be
read:

[Those] (Buffalo
buffalo) [whom] (Buffalo buffalo buffalo) buffalo (Buffalo buffalo).

Still too hard
to follow for those of us who don’t know “buffalo”
as a verb. Refine once more:

[Those] buffalo(es)
from Buffalo [that are intimidated by] buffalo(es) from Buffalo
intimidate buffalo(es) from Buffalo.

Read
the rest of the article

July
16, 2010

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