Thursday, February 18, 2010

Buffalo buffalo

What's so special about the following sentence?

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."


  1. This statement is grammatically correct..

    I had to google the meaning of the word Buffalo which indeed turned out to be a noun, verb as well as a place.

  2. That's it Bizzare. You have to know that buffalo is a verb, buffalo is a noun (animal) and Buffalo is a location.

    Other sentences that are used to show lexical ambiguity:

    'That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is.'

    'James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher.'

  3. Just curious, but shouldn't the fourth "buffalo" be capitalized instead of the third? (Also, I love this riddle because I live near Buffalo, NY)

  4. Hi Kira, I think it's right the way it's written. (From Wikipedia): When we parse the sentence we can read it as:
    [Those] (Buffalo buffalo) [whom] (Buffalo buffalo) buffalo, buffalo (Buffalo buffalo).

  5. I should point out that I'm wrong all the time, as many of my readers can tell you! So, let me know if I'm wrong here, too.

  6. Thanks Mike. It was indeed a great puzzle.


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