The title itself is an example of what is to follow. Sentences that sound weird but are grammatically sound (this ‘sound’ here acts as an adjective, not a verb, unlike the first one).
- THE RAT THE CAT THE DOG CHASED KILLED ATE THE MALT.
Let’s start. “The rat ate the malt”. Which rat? The rat that the cat killed. So the “the rat the cat killed ate the malt.” Now, “the cat that the dog chased killed the rat that ate the malt”. So, the rat the cat the dog chased killed ate the malt, is grammatically sound, but doesn’t sound good.
- ONE MORNING I SHOT AN ELEPHANT IN MY PAJAMAS.
Read it as [One morning] [I shot an elephant] [in my pajamas] or
[One morning I shot] [an elephant in my pajamas]. Suit yourself, which structure you want to accept.
- THE COMPLEX HOUSES MARRIED AND SINGLE SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.
In this sentence, the obvious parts of speech are not what they are. “Complex” acts here as a noun, not adjective; “houses” acts as a verb , not noun; “married” acts as adjective rather than the past tense of verb! Now read the sentence again- see! The meaning is “ the complex or compound is occupied by single and married soldiers and their families”.
- ANYONE WHO FEELS THAT IF SO MANY MORE STUDENTS WHOM WE HAVEN’T ACTUALLY ADMITTED ARE SITTING IN ON THE COURSE THAN ONES WE HAVE THAT THE ROOM HAD TO BE CHANGED, THEN PROBABLY AUDITORS WILL HAVE TO BE EXCLUDED, IS LIKELY TO AGREE THAT THE CURRICULUM NEEDS REVISION.
Get a pen and a paper. Now, start with “ anyone who feels X is likely to agree”. Then “ anyone who feels if X , then Y is likely to agree”. Fill X and Y and re-read. Got it?
- BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO
Eight. Yes, eight “buffalo”. Why so many? Because BUFFALO is a noun, BUFFALO is the name of a city and, BUFFALO is a verb! It twists on relative clauses, different readings of the same word, and centre embedding, all together. To get the meaning, read again- Bison (buffalo- noun) from Buffalo (town), who are intimidated by other bison in their community, also intimidate (buffalo-verb) other bison in their community! Phew!