Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

July 8, 2007

It’s important to keep yourself edumacated. So today we’re going to start off with a grammar lesson.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is a grammatically correct sentence used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated constructs. It has been discussed in the literature since 1972 when the sentence was used by William J. Rapaport, currently an associate professor at the University at Buffalo.[1] It was posted to Linguist List by Rapaport in 1992.[2] It was also featured in Steven Pinker’s 1994 book The Language Instinct. Sentences of this type, although not in such a refined form, have been known for a long time. A classic example is the proverb “Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you”.

The sentence is unpunctuated and uses three different readings of the word “buffalo”. In order of their first use, these are

  • c. The city of Buffalo, New York;
  • a. The animal buffalo, in the plural (equivalent to “buffaloes”), in order to avoid articles;
  • v. The verb “buffalo” meaning to bully, confuse, deceive, or intimidate.

Marking each “buffalo” with its use as shown above gives

Buffaloc buffaloa Buffaloc buffaloa buffalov buffalov Buffaloc buffaloa.

Thus, the sentence when parsed reads as a description of the pecking order in the social hierarchy of buffaloes living in Buffalo:

[Those] (Buffalo buffalo) [that] (Buffalo buffalo buffalo) buffalo (Buffalo buffalo).
[Those] buffalo(es) from Buffalo [that are intimidated by] buffalo(es) from Buffalo intimidate buffalo(es) from Buffalo.
Bison from upstate New York who are intimidated by other bison in their community also happen to intimidate other bison in their community.

It may be revealing to read the sentence replacing all instances of the animal buffalo with “people” and the verb buffalo with “intimidate”. The sentence then reads

“Buffalo people [that] Buffalo people intimidate [also happen to] intimidate Buffalo people.”

Did you get that?

My brain hurts.

Now to something that requires a little less brain power. Pictures! the dog below has a genetic defect that makes it have a huge amount of muscle mass… scary:

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The cat below was voted the world’s ugliest cat (poor thing):

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If fire were water:

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Cool pictures, eh? Unfortunately, I’ m not going to be posting anything new next week. I’m going to be getting surgery this coming Sunday and the doctor said I’m going to be coughing up blood for a while. Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! So I’m taking a week off of work.

The funny thing is that I prefer to be coughing up blood for a few days rather than coming to work and stewing in boredom. BTW, I need something good to watch while I’m on the couch (I can’t even smoke *sob*). I’m almost done with the first season of Heroes. What else is good? Nobody say Grey’s Anatomy (or I’ll shoot you) I want good, solid, non-gay series.  Recommend something unexpected. Like Black Adder or Yes, Prime Minister,  something different.

Anyway, to finish off this post. Some comics! Wooooooohoooooooo!

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Looool…. I’m soooo like this (above)

I’m soooo going to do that to a kayaker someday (below)

Muhahahahahaha!!!!

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Einstein is a genius, you should listen to him:

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One Response to “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo”

  1. sknkwrkz said

    nothing comes close to black adder and theres all four seasons to watch so that should keep you rather busy.

    peep show is pretty good, but only a couple seasons of that.

    umm theres not much else thats really good.

    oh just get some porn.

    have a happy surgery :D

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