The Etymologicon

The longest grammatically correct English sentence using the same word is:

“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”*

This, according to Mark Forsyth in his book, The Etymologicon, which I have read with delight.

I’ve always been fascinated with word origins–tracing their meaning, spelling, and pronunciation through history. There are many books on the history of the English language that I’ve read and The Etymologicon is probably the most entertaining and most useful for newsletter fodder.

Mr. Forsyth has a companion blog, called The Inky Fool.

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Do you have any English (or non-English) language quirks you want to share? Comment below and I’ll share it with my readers in the next edition of my newsletter, The Scrapple.

* The author helpfully clarifies, “Buffalo bison [whom] Buffalo bison bully [then] bully Buffalo bison.” And I’ll add that Buffalo, uppercase B, refers to the New York city, lowercase c.

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