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.
And if you consider the possibility of Buffalo in the city of Buffalo being 'Buffalo buffalo', you can get this sentence:
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
Linguist list actually strings 10 'buffalo' together as one sentence, but I think only 8 can be used, since to 'Buffalo buffalo' can't be used as a verb. (via Reddit