Mastering English


This page is devoted primarily to the creations of our own Writing to Publish members. English is by far the most versatile language on Earth, with the largest dictionaries on the shelf. The opportunities for fun, trivia, and puzzles are endless.
Recently we've invited further input from friends on line. (I'm not aware of any other 'single word string' type sentences, and in any case, we're looking for smoother flowing, multi-word creations.)

Here are a few sentences that utilize the numerous standard definitions of the same English word. Each of the 'multi' words (except one) are pronounced the same way.

W2P member Barry writes:

The Club owner asks the cancan girl if she can can her attitude, and get her can off the can, before he has to can her.

W2P member Kathi replies:

And by the way, can the cancan girl can the cancan until the can can be fixed after the can from the peaches she'd canned can be retrieved from said can?

Here are W2P member Paul's three contributions:

As the man in question had fallen down a well and was set to die, and following their well set drill, as the sun set the press set upon the drill press operator, to question him mercilessly, thus to record his tale of the tool and die set machining record he'd set so well that day.

As a human being with plenty of drive, just as a transit worker ought to have, and being way too on the ball to let his astronomy project tank, Skip decided to drive his tank mounted telescope across the housing project ball park, to where some local kids played skip rope while waiting for him to park, and not skip out on his plan to project a rare transit of Venus.

As an old hand at sailing, not to mention a medium in fine spirits, Bill was reluctant to tip his hand, and felt the right way would be to anchor his boat in the right hand channel, then use his fine tip felt pen to hand draw a medium size bill for his services as a channel, not denoting the way he'd eternally bound those evil spirits; the kind a bad hand of cards, played while acting on a tip, is bound to draw.

Note that these are all single, gramatically correct sentences. Furthermore, almost none of the 'multi' words repeat the same meaning twice.

Sometimes even proper grammar won't cut it. This sentence, which is perfectly correct, was taught to W2P member Tom by his old English teacher:

The teacher said that that that that that boy used was incorrect.

Doubt it? Try using 'the' in two places instead:

The teacher said that the that that the boy used was incorrect.

Analog magazine forum member GB adds a college favorite of his:

Try: John had had had had had had had had had had a better meal?

Punctuated properly: John had had had; Had had had had; had Had had a better meal?

Note! This version is better than most we've seen on line, some of which are much longer. (I've altered it slightly for better readability.)
GB says, one must remember that had is a fish (short for haddock) and Had is a name.

Analog magazine forum member DaveH came back with:

After looking at the newly painted sign over his shop, Mr Smith said, "There's too much space between Smith and and and and and Son."

In a new category, Asimovs magazine forum member Marian adds a creation of hers:

Perry pares a pair of pears ducking the duck in the duct.

After some thought, my own version of this reads as follows:

Perry pares two pairs of pears as he ducks too many ducks while inside the ducts.

Marian came back with:

Perry pares two pairs of pears as he ducks to duct tape the ducts as too many ducks are ducking inside the unductaped ducts.

Along similar lines, my father (a retired school principal) offers this line:

"I'm here from two to two to two two, too."

In other words, two commuters are discussing their train schedule, and the second person is saying he's also in the station from 1:58 until 2:02.

Paul adds this one to the similar pronounciation mix:

Back at the frontier fort, Charles Fort showed his forte by going for it for four solid hours, by playing bronco on all fours, with Lieutenant Ladd's little lad riding on his back.

Asimovs board member Natipal contributes this somewhat naughty creation:

The Lie of the Lay
As I lie on the grass with Leia, I ponder the lay of the grass on the land.
It was no lie said Leia as we got laid, "You lie very well in the lay of the land that we lie on."
"Lay" said Leia, "and I'll lie down for you." As I looked at the lay of her as she lie, and so I lay down in the lay of the land. "It is no lie," said she. "The lay of the land lies very well indeed."
"Is this a lie? I lie not," so says Leia.

(I've not used the popular 'Buffalo buffalo' sentence, because it's already everywhere, and it is very difficult to parse.)

Asimovs magazine forum members Marian and John Rogers created a new tongue twister:

To better tutor Tooters, Tudor touted touring as a tutoring tool, too.

(Sometimes it takes a moment to puzzle 'em out.)

Analog board member Bill G demonstrated an unusual word game thusly:

Annoyingly, acerbically, and also at an abruptly apoplectic angle, assuredly and acrobatically, at an antsy and awkward age, after an appalling anachronistic antic, an amber Alaskan Aleut and an acrimonious aide acidly asserted an antagonistic argument: "An avowed apostolic aardvark and an admittedly alabaster abalone aren't always arrested after an awful arson at an Asian arts academy, and aggrieved ancestors, albeit able accomplices, as an acceptable actor antecedently asserted, aren't advertently agitated and animatedly agog as an ably amiable aviator artfully arcs an angelic ascension after allegedly administering aforementioned average aspirin and assorted antidotes, an assorted and ample aggregate, at an assiduously admired abandoned animal annex at an arid airport."

(He says 'A' is easiest, though 'I' offers some possibilities.)

Analog board member Sydney pointed us toward a popular tongue twister, of which there are numerous versions on line:

Ned Nott was shot and Sam Shott was not.
So it is better to be Shott than Nott.
Some say Nott was not shot.
But Shott says he shot Nott.
Either the shot Shott shot at Nott was not shot,
Or Nott was shot.
If the shot Shott shot shot Nott, Nott was shot.
But if the shot Shott shot shot Shott,
Then Shott was shot, not Nott.
However, the shot Shott shot shot not Shott, but Nott.

Here is a poem written by our member Gabby, in response to a discussion we had about "using big words" in our work.

Renegade Rhetoric

Here's a fascinating page maintained by a High School teacher in Florida.

A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia

Have you created any similar sentences? Let us know! Contact, ewriters /at/ aol \dot\ com and please make your subject line distinct.

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Mastering English