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Eight Tiny Buffalo Dancing on the Head of a Linguistic Pin

April 7th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Culture, Language

Thanks to a branching garden path of Internet posts, I have just discovered the wonderful sentence “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” (which is really truly a grammatically correct sentence, although certainly not a graceful one) and spent about fifteen minutes learning how to decipher it. My head hurt for a minute or two there, but I got through it and I’m glad I didn’t let the sentence buffalo me the way people from Buffalo buffalo people who are also buffaloed by people from a certain city in New York.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Grendel

    I love this part in the Wikipedia entry:

    Bison from upstate New York who are intimidated by other bison in their community also happen to intimidate other bison in their community.

  • Ocelopotamus

    It’s just nice to know there are other bison-fearing folk out there and we aren’t alone!

    The interesting thing to me — from a copyediting standpoint — is that if you add the word “that” after the second “buffalo,” the sentence makes total sense to me. And if you add the word “also” after the fifth “buffalo,” a child could read it! A child, I tell you!

  • Aaron

    You know, if you look at the word “buffalo” that many times, you start to wonder if it’s spelled correctly.

    I’m just glad that there are people who still pay attention to grammar. In a world of text-messaging and abbreviations, actual language is so refreshing!