The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 22, 2006
Status: Linguistic puzzle Check out these parsing challenges over at linguistlist.org. It took me a good 15 or 20 minutes to figure out why they make sense. (Though I'm sure some people will figure them out immediately.) The first one is this sentence: Dogs dogs dog dog dogs. It's a legitimate english sentence. To figure out how this is so, it helps to compare it to the sentence: Cats dogs chase catch mice. (They both share the same structure.) The linguist list folks then point out that the word 'buffalo' can also serve as the basis for a similar sentence: Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.