A few fun language puzzles


Printing3_Walk_of_Ideas_BerlinI *meant* to get another post up on Multiplication today, but wasn’t able to start finish that.  Instead, here are some  punctuation puzzles!

Nelson Rich, my first department chair, sent this along to me about ten years ago.  It turns out it’s over 60 years old, and was first used in 1947 by Hans Reichenbach.

The challenge:  Add punctuation below to make the following sentence correct:

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

While looking this up (I couldn’t remember how many “had”s there were, I discovered two similar problems.

Add punctuation to the following sentence so that it is clear what is means.  (It is supposedly correct as written, although some extra words seem to be implied.)  It was first used in 1972 by William J. Rapaport who is a prof at the University of…you guessed it…Buffalo.

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

And finally, add punctuation to the following sentence(s):

That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is

Wasn’t that one fun?  It dates back to 1953, to Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer.

The stature of books, published under the GNU-FDL by Lienhard Shultz, is part of the Walk of Ideas of Berlin-Mitte.

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