English is a strange language.
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04-02-2013, 02:59 PM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2013 06:16 PM by Dark Light.)
English is a strange language.
Just a few weird or thought provoking examples that result from the English language, feel free to share.

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."is a grammatically correct sentence in the English language. It even has it's own Wikipedia entry here. According to the article you can use any number of "buffalos" and still have a grammatically correct sentence, but I don't want to work out the logic behind the construction of such long sentences. Eight is enough.

A similar example includes "James, while John had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had a better effect on the teacher."

If you spin an Oriental person around in circles they will become disoriented.

Overlook and oversee are antonyms.

'Fat chance' and 'slim chance' mean the same thing.

Same goes for 'slow down' and 'slow up'.

Cleave can either mean to stick to together or to split apart.



"This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." was reportedly said by Churchill

The following sentences contain confusing homographs. Blink

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

The soldier decided to desert in the desert.

This was a good time to present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when the does are present.

They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

After a number of injections my jaw got number.

Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

I read it once and will read it again

I learned much from this learned treatise.

I was content to note the content of the message.

The Blessed Virgin blessed her. Blessed her richly.

It's a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.

If he will absent himself we mark him absent.

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04-02-2013, 03:03 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
(04-02-2013 02:59 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  Just a few weird or thought provoking examples that result from the English language, feel free to share.

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."is a grammatically correct sentence in the English language. It even has it's own Wikipedia entry here. According to the article you can use any number of "buffalos" and still have a grammatically correct sentence, but I don't want to work out the logic behind the construction of such long sentences. Eight is enough.

A similar example includes "James, while John had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had a better effect on the teacher."

If you spin an Oriental person around in circles they will become disoriented.

Overlook and oversee and antonyms.

'Fat chance' and 'slim chance' mean the same thing.

Same goes for 'slow down' and 'slow up'.

Cleave can either mean to stick to together or to split apart.



"This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." was reportedly said by Churchill

The following sentences contain confusing homonyms. Blink

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

The soldier decided to desert in the desert.

This was a good time to present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when the does are present.

They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

After a number of injections my jaw got number.

Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

I read it once and will read it again

I learned much from this learned treatise.

I was content to note the content of the message.

The Blessed Virgin blessed her. Blessed her richly.

It's a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.

If he will absent himself we mark him absent.


Fun, but homonyms have to be pronounced the same.

Spelled alike, they are homographs.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-02-2013, 03:06 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
(04-02-2013 03:03 PM)Chas Wrote:  Fun, but homonyms have to be pronounced the same.

Spelled alike, they are homographs.
fixed. Thumbsup

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05-02-2013, 01:08 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
Well yea, "James, while John had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had a better effect on the teacher." is fine but I really see little point in, "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.". Buffalos are stupid. Just sayin'. Drinking Beverage

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05-02-2013, 02:26 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
You park your car in a driveway, yet drive on a parkway.

Cargo is carried by ships, shipments carried by cars (or trucks).

Flammable and Inflammable mean the same thing.

Noses run, feet smell.

Burning up and burning down mean the same thing.

Alarms "going off" are actually turning on.

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05-02-2013, 02:36 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
English is a crazy language, Americanized English even more so.
I am often surprised by the members of the forum from around the world that are so adept at using our slang and sayings. I am pretty impressed with anyone that is multi-lingual but the use of colloquialisms in a second, third, or forth language is really a mastery of a language as it is used.

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05-02-2013, 02:41 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
I like the ones that sound the same but are spelled differently.
Raise and Raze are my favorites... confuse them and you got some 'splainin' to do. Dodgy

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05-02-2013, 02:44 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
(05-02-2013 02:41 PM)kim Wrote:  I like the ones that sound the same but are spelled differently.
Raise and Raze are my favorites... confuse them and you got some 'splainin' to do. Dodgy


There, their, they're.

Where, wear, ware.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-02-2013, 02:54 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
(05-02-2013 02:41 PM)kim Wrote:  I like the ones that sound the same but are spelled differently.
Raise and Raze are my favorites... confuse them and you got some 'splainin' to do. Dodgy
Two other sets of antonymic homophones (or homophonic antonyms, not sure which one is correct)

Erupt/irrupt
Petalless/Petalous

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05-02-2013, 02:55 PM
RE: English is a strange language.
what about english grammar?

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
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