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Buffalo buffalo buffalo! One-word sentences & how they work

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How exactly does ‘Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo’ make any sense as communication?

Repeating the word eight times may sound nonsensical and maze-like, but this TED-Ed by Emma Bryce, with animation by Karrot, explains how the noun (a bison), the city (Buffalo, New York), and a verb (to buffalo or intimidate) come together to make a grammatically correct sentence. Note those capitalized words. From their Tumblr:

Buffalo buffalo are bison from the city of Buffalo and this sentence has three groups of them. Group A, which is bullied by Group B, bullies Group C. In other words bison from Buffalo that other bison from Buffalo bully also bully bison from Buffalo.

buffalo one word sentence
Related exploration: This partial list of linguistic example sentences.

Next: Making Sense of Spelling and Buffalo ≠ Bison.

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This video was posted 5 years ago.

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