Remember the jokes (OK, they were sold as “jokes” when you were at school to add a touch of excitement to Eng. Lang. lessons) about creating valid and allegedly meaningful sentences with a single word repeated many times?
There’s a very dubious one with the word BUFFALO seven times in a row, which relies on the various meanings Buffalo-the-placename, referring to the riverside city in New York State; buffalo-the-bovine-beast, also known as a bison; and buffalo-the-metaphorical-verb meaning “to bully or intimidate.”
There’s a slightly less bizarre sentence with HAD repeated a whopping 11 times, which imagines a Latin grammar lesson in which pupils are asked to compare the ancient Roman perfect tense, often translated with “had”, and the pluperfect, commonly translated as “had had”.
But the best known, and perhaps the most believable, is five ANDs in a row, a sentence helped by the fact that AND is a conjunction, so with a suitable comma you can insert it between almost any two English sentences and produce a legal compound clause.
Thus the famous complaint by the innkeeper who’s just had their pub sign repainted badly, and disappointedly tells the signwriter, “You didn’t leave enough space between ROSE and AND, and AND and CROWN.”
Well, in an amusing start to the weekend, Google Docs has apparently just fixed a five-ANDs-in-a-row crisis in its online, real-time grammar checker.
Apparently, until Google quickly fixed the problem earlier today, entering five ANDs in a row was considered a sufficiently grievous conjunctional blunder that entering such a sequence into your browser… Read More