Jul 6, 2016


Professor Ernest Brennecke of Columbia is credited with inventing a sentence that can be made to have eight different meanings by placing ONE WORD in all possible positions in the sentence:

"I hit him in the eye yesterday."

The word is "ONLY".

The Message:

1. ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did.)

2. I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him.)

3. I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others.)

4. I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday (I did not hit outside the eye).

5. I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday (Not other organs).

6. I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday (He doesn't have another eye).

7. I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday (Not today).

8. I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY (Did not wait for today).

This is the beauty and complexity of the English language.

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