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 Post subject: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:46 pm 
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"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
"Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo"
"The old man the boat"
etc. etc. etc.

Garden path sentences, syntactic ambiguity, pun, oxymoron, paraprosdokian, antanaclasis, double entendre paradox, lexical ambiguity, etc.
these things fascinate me.

What is your view on all this?


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:50 pm 
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Location: Brooklyn-"Fuhgedaboudit!"
Flappy2 wrote:
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
"Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo"
"The old man the boat"

etc. etc. etc.

Garden path sentences, syntactic ambiguity, pun, oxymoron, paraprosdokian, antanaclasis, double entendre paradox, lexical ambiguity, etc.
these things fascinate me.

What is your view on all this?

These two don't make any sense to me. :?


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Location: Denvermolorado
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

The old man the boat

I've heard the buffalo one before, but I didn't know there was a term for "the old man the boat" phrase.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:24 pm 
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duds wrote:
Flappy2 wrote:

"The old man the boat"




These two don't make any sense to me. :?


'The Old man the boat'


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:49 pm 
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"The old man the boat" is a garden path sentence.

It makes you think, at first that it is talking about an old man, but it is actually saying that "old people operate boats". It is a grammatically correct sentence.

"buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo" is also a grammatically correct sentence, and is an example of lexical ambiguity.
"I had had had had had had had had had had chicken for dinner" is also grammatically correct.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:07 pm 
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I love the English language, I'm always working on my English; trying to rephrase sentences so they won't end with a preposition, enriching my vocabulary, working on my accent, etc.
I love how everything in English seems to be built on a certain pattern, it makes the language very easy to learn once you understand the basics.
On the other hand, Hebrew fascinates me even more because almost every word (except new words like "gadget", etc.) is based on a word that is in the bible.
Now, I'm not a religious person or anything like that but sometimes I'll read the bible (in Hebrew) and when I'll do that I'll realize that I can barely understand what I'm reading, but then when I'll read an "explanation" of the specific chapter I was reading I'll see that I know each and every word I've read and I just didn't realize it.
Even Abra Kadabra is in Hebrew and I didn't realize it until it was pointed out to me by someone (abra kadabra= ee'ba'ra ka'dabrai= will be created as I say)
I just love exploring languages.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:34 pm 
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I think using the English language to manipulate minds is fun. Things that don't quite fall under the hypnosis section, like sentence implantation, mental forcing, etc. just makes for very pure magic and even social engineering at times.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Psycholinguistics is pretty interesting.

The only one i remember off the top of my head is the classic one,
"The horse ran past the barn fell"

I was reading a book a while ago that had a whole list of things to say to confuse a person's brain during an argument so while they were trying to figure out what you said, you could think of something better to say.

I don't know if it is verbatim but i think one of them was something like this:

"Are you aware you have forgotten something you thought you once knew ?"


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:33 am 
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One of the Card College books has a section on dealing with problem spectators. One scenario was when you need a spectator to tell or show their card, and they won't do it. Giobbi's solution is to ask the spectator again in the form of one of these confusing sentences. As long as the final words ("so, show me the card", or whatever you use) make sense, the spectator will be just bewildered enough to stop holding back and follow your direct order.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:39 am 
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One of the best parts about this topic is I am quite adept in the English language but I am always learning and love to learn more. A majority of the things posted in the original post, made little to no sense to me. Guess I'll have to go learn some more.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:16 am 
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as we all know, a panda eats shoots and leaves


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:16 pm 
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ElConquistador wrote:
as we all know, a panda eats shoots and leaves

:D I love stuff like that.


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:58 pm 
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I think its interesting but doesn't really encompass what we should know about the English language. Even once people know buffalo....... is a complete sentence I don't think most people really understand why, myself included. They are more like... English party tricks :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The English language is fascinating...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:31 pm 
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harrybob10 wrote:
I think its interesting but doesn't really encompass what we should know about the English language. Even once people know buffalo....... is a complete sentence I don't think most people really understand why, myself included. They are more like... English party tricks :lol:

Lol, it's because there are like 3 different meanings of the word "buffalo" (the animal bison, to bully, the city in New York)
So essentially you're saying "Bison from Buffalo, NY Bully Bison from Buffalo NY, etc."


Paraprosdokian I just thought of:
Sometimes I act like somebody I'm not...then I remember I'm acting and that that's the whole point.


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