[DWJ] Grammar (OT)

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Jun 25 05:51:58 EDT 2008


Leanne wrote:

>Speaking of grammar and its strange mathematical incomprehensibility, I was
>just reading about the entirely grammatically correct sentence: Buffalo
>buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Why *did* 'to buffalo' come to mean 'to bamboozle', I wonder?  I can
understand its meaning 'to intimidate' or 'to overawe', but the buffalo
always struck me as a straightforward sort of beastie really, though large.

>And also "James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a
>better effect on the teacher", which is correct but has had its punctuation
>removed.

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

>Anyone want to take a stab without resorting to their respective Wikipedia
>pages?

I don't have Wikipedia available; does it have an earlier citing than 1924
for the latter teaser?

Minnow





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