October 2011 Archives

Commas, multiple

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The following sentence contains a comma after every word:

Ahead, Edmund, inevitably, lurked.

I'm not saying it's a good sentence, but I believe it to be grammatical.

So what's the longest sentence you can construct that has a comma after every word, while maintaining grammatical accuracy?

More generally, how about the longest sentence in which every word has some punctuation mark after it, even if they aren't all the same mark?

Dual-interpretation sketches


Vardibidian recently pointed to a Ronnie Corbett sketch involving double meanings of terms like “Blackberry.”

I enjoyed the sketch; fun verbal comedy. And I was pleased, because I often see that kind of thing (dual interpretation of tech terms) done in ways that I don't find funny at all.

But it wasn't until now that I learned that it goes back to an earlier tradition of Two Ronnies sketches: in particular, the 1976 four candles/fork handles sketch, in which a shopkeeper and customer repeatedly misunderstand each other.

The older one includes a couple of jokes I don't get—presumably based on British and/or 1970s terminology—but I did laugh out loud a couple of times, so I figured it was worth pointing y'all to it.

Happy Days

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For my entire life, I've been hearing the Happy Days theme song and wondering why it contains the weird line “These days are all / Filled in with glee.” Though “filled” didn't quite sound right. But “Sheldon with glee” seemed even more unlikely.

Just now, on a whim, I finally looked up the lyrics. And it turns out the line is actually “Share them with me.”

At least I got one word and a few other phonemes right. . . .

run of wines?

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I thought a recent headline said this:

Asian scientists set to topple America's run of wines

But then while I still trying to figure out the context for that, I realized that it was an article about Nobel prizes, and that the last word was actually “wins.”

Which makes more sense, but is less entertaining.

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