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" Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo " is a grammatically valid sentence in American English , used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated linguistic constructs. It has been discussed in literature since 1972 when the sentence was used by William J. Rapaport , an associate professor at the University at Buffalo . [ 1 ] It was posted to Linguist List by Rapaport in 1992. [ 2 ] It was also featured in Steven Pinker 's 1994 book The Language Instinct as an example of a sentence that is "seemingly nonsensical" but grammatical. Pinker names his student Annie Senghas as the inventor of the sentence. [ 3 ]
As a self-proclaimed loser word nerd, my absolute favorite class in college was Shakespeare . Regardless if the dude even existed or not, I feel intimidated writing about him using my own pathetically limited vocabulary, as I am that enthralled and marveled by his English language skillz (sorry, Will). That's why I was so stoked to see the newest Tumblr hit sweeping the Internet world : " Things We Say Today Which We Owe to Shakespeare ." There are so many things! I remember reading through his plays late at night for class, coming across phrases and sayings and having the light bulb in my head go off: So that's where that came from. A 20-year-old from London named Becky scribbled down a bunch of these sayings in her notebook and posted it to Tumblr.