The Prime Number Few

I was chasing links through Wikipedia the other day, which always leads somewhere interesting.

In this case I fell into the deep waters of linguistics and learned about garden path sentences. They caught my eye in particular because the article includes one of my favourite jokes, albeit with a slightly different construction to my usual one.

"If time flies like an arrow, do fruit flies like a banana?"

Now that I've read a deconstruction of the joke, it seems a little less funny though.

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3 thoughts on “The Prime Number Few

  1. Great link, I’ve been looking for things to convince my father-in-law (a former professor of romance languages) to come online. He also likes that particular joke, being in an organization called “the order of the ripe banana.”

  2. I suppose it’s obvious that “Time flies like an arrow.” is triply ambiguous? (Any of the first three words can be the verb).

  3. Joel,

    I would think the internet has a lot to offer for former professors of romance languages — in fact there’s a home there for anyone with any opinion about anything.

    DaPi,

    Hmmm — I hadn’t thought of that. Three possible verbs indeed.

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