Cod cod cod …

The sentence

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

has been touted as an unusual English sentence in that it repeats the same word eight times. Apart from the fact that it mixes common and proper nouns, so that some of them need initial caps, it is not very long. The fact that it is also very farfetched I have to live with; the sentence I am about to describe is at least as farfetched, if not more so!

We start with the simple sentence

cod cod cod

This tells us that cod go round fooling other cod.

But some of these are not real cod but phony cod, ie cod cod, so

cod cod cod cod

or even

cod cod cod cod cod

In fact some of them are not in fact phony cod but real cod pretending to be cod cod, ie cod cod cod; similarly the ones they fool. So

cod cod cod cod cod cod cod

It won’t surprise you now that some of these cod cod cod are phony after all, which makes them cod cod cod cod. And if the codees are similar, we now have

cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod

That is already longer than Buffalo buffalo…. And we still have a further trick up our sleeve.

Sometimes when cod cod other cod they don’t really cod them, they just pretend to;  what they are doing is cod codding. So, going back to our original sentence cod cod cod we can now say

cod cod cod cod

and our cod-9 sentence becomes

cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod

And just as we had phony phony cod we can have phony phony codding.

cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod cod

It is probably clear to you now that we can continue to add cod at any  point in this sentence. In principle, then, this sentence can be extended to an infinite degree.

Correct syntax, yes; but I did warn you that the semantics might be farfetched.

(The idea behind this sentence arose during a conversation I had with Jo Evershed.)

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