Thursday, September 06, 2007

Parse the sentence, please

The frequent references to Hadd keep reminding me of this sentence parsing problem that my Year 12 (or was it 11?) English teacher gave us all those years ago. You have to punctuate the following to form a semantically correct sentence (or sentences):

had had had had had had had had had had had had

I couldn't get it at the time and I'm not even sure if he ever gave us the answer. And...I think the original might have only involved seven "hads". But I can now think of an answer that works for all those hads, and I think that it is likely there is more than one answer.

I never really understood the concept, to be honest. But a couple of us came across one recently that, now I understand it, allowed me to nut out the had one. The recent one is:

buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo

Let me know if you can do either of them. Answers in a day or two.

6 comments:

Ewen said...

Before I go to sleep, I just had to say "I'm as thick as two short Buffalos".

Scott said...

Interesting Steve. Although I have a masters in linguistics I 'had' no idea about "sentence parsing."

Still, looked it up and think I get it now.

The buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo
problem is not so much a problem of punctuation but can be worked out if you understand all the various meanings of Buffalo, which I didn't. (Is that a run on sentence? I forgot.)

I can send a link to the answers if anyone wants.

Tesso said...

Parse the Vegemite please.

Tesso said...

After a bit of Google-ing, and a lot of head scratching, I can now go to bed :-)

Luckylegs said...

I can still remember how to do 'parsing & analysis', but those hads & buffalos have got me!

Thanks for birthday wishes...more next year, please!

2P said...

I'll parse thank you.