The 5 word sentence, where each of the 5 words is identical is:
Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
The meaning is:
Buffalo buffalo (i.e. buffalo that live in Buffalo) buffalo (i.e a verb meaning to intimidate or fight) Buffalo buffalo (i.e. buffalo that live in Buffalo).
This is also explained here and a longer more complicated version is here. One day this knowledge might make you the winner of a pub quiz!
Whilst we’re on the subject of short pieces of writing, here are a couple of flash fiction competitions:
- Early Works Press are offering £75 first prize plus two runners-up prizes of £10 for a 100-word story. Entry is £3.50 and the closing date is 31/8/2012. Full details here.
- Multi-Story want 600 words and offer prizes of £300, £100 and £50 for an entry fee of £5 (or £8 for 2 stories). It’s an open theme and the closing date is 29th February 2012. Full details are here.
#1 by Patsy Collins on January 18, 2012 - 12:36 pm
Can’t see me using that sentence anytime in the near future!
#2 by Sally Jenkins on January 18, 2012 - 1:16 pm
Patsy – No, it’s not the most useful phrase is it?
#3 by susanjanejones on January 18, 2012 - 6:03 pm
Hi Sally, I’ve learned something here, I didn’t know that Buffalo was a place, also I didn’t know that to ‘buffalo’ was to intimidate or fight. So, thanks for that. I’ve been sitting thining of donkey’s, penquins, and even squirrels, squirrel..etc. Glad to know what it was, thanks for the links. I’m now going to buffalo my way to the kitchen for my tea.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on January 18, 2012 - 7:18 pm
Susan – I knew Buffalo was a place but I had no idea it could be used as a verb. You learn something new every day!
#5 by Alice on January 18, 2012 - 9:16 pm
Ha! Very clever. I was nowhere near!
#6 by Sally Jenkins on January 19, 2012 - 2:07 pm
Alice – you’ll never forget it now you know!