Linguistic Act

Read each of the following sentences aloud. Did you perform a linguistic act? If so, explain what the sentence means and why it might not seem meaningful.

1. The old man the ship.

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2. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like bananas.

4. The cotton clothing is made of grows in Mississippi.

5. The square root of pine is tree.

6. The man who whistles tunes pianos.

7. To force heaven, Mars shall have a new angel.

8. “’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.”

And now some weird examples from Dan Wegner’s Hidden Brain Damage Scale. If these make sense to you, it might be a sign of hidden brain damage. If they don’t make sense, explain why:

9. People tell me one thing one day and out the other.

10. I feel as much like I did yesterday as I do today.

11. My throat is closer than it seems.

12. Likes and dislikes are among my favorites.

13. I’ve lost all sensation in my shirt.

14. There’s only one thing for me.

15. I don’t like any of my loved ones.