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Word Puzzle: A circular sentence

 
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 09:14    Post subject: Word Puzzle: A circular sentence Reply with quote

Inspired by the circular motto that sits on the Fortean Traveller stamp ('One measures a circle beginning anywhere', or is it 'Beginning anywhere, one measures a circle', or is it 'A circle, beginning anywhere, one measures'), I wondered what the longest sentence is that could begin with any of the component words and still make sense.

I think anything with five words or more would be commendable.
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 12:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

It makes a big difference whether the permutations are allowed to be applied at the granularity of multi-word clauses versus the granularity of individual words.

Does this particular example even illustrate the latter (word-wise permutation) model? What grammatically acceptable permutation (no matter how obtusely phrased ...) of the given words would work starting with 'circle'?

It seems to me any sentence 'perfectly reconfigurable at single word granularity' would have to be one in which no two words must occur in particular combinations or ordering (e.g., the article 'a' in relation to 'circle' here) to make sense.

In this case, the issue can be circumvented without twisting or losing any meaning by using 'circles' rather than 'a circle'.
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theyithianOffline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 13:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't care which book or lecture you learnt the word 'granularity' from, it's still an ugly and awkward word!

More importantly, I take your point about words that appear in fixed order, but are you assuming that the circle ought to be capable of being read both clockwise and anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise if you're of the American persuasion)? If you are, constructions such as 'a circle' may still work because 'circle' can be either a noun or a verb: We circle a star.

edit1: punctuation is an issue
edit 2: unless you want a long list of 'buffalo's or 'had's you need to ban repetition.


Last edited by theyithian on 29-08-2014 14:38; edited 1 time in total
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 14:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

theyithian wrote:
I don't care which book or lecture you learnt the word 'granularity' from, it's still an ugly and awkward word!


In my domain (working as a senior scientific researcher / consultant) it's a common term of precise connotation used on a daily basis. Sorry if it causes you to gag ...


theyithian wrote:
More importantly, I take your point about words that appear in filed order, but are you assuming that the circle ought to be capable of being read both clockwise and anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise if you're of the American persuasion)? If you are, constructions such as 'a circle' may still work because 'circle' can be either a noun or a verb: We circle a star.


No, I wan't making any such assumption. I didn't understand McAvennie's problem statement to require any such reconfigured sentence be readable in both directions.

McAvennie: Was that your intention?
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theyithianOffline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 14:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnolaGaia wrote:
theyithian wrote:
I don't care which book or lecture you learnt the word 'granularity' from, it's still an ugly and awkward word!


In my domain (working as a senior scientific researcher / consultant) it's a common term of precise connotation used on a daily basis. Sorry if it causes you to gag ...


Fair enough. One man's meat...
Cool

Edit: It all reminds me of this old chestnut:

Quote:
"The peacocks are found in the western hills."

Clarify the meaning of the nine new sentences that may be generated by the insertion of the word 'only' in each possible position.
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liveinabin1Offline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 19:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way back when I was at drama school we were taught to sing the words 'danger men at work' to the tune of Knees Up Mother Brown.
But the phrase is one syllable too long, so the song ends up as follows.

Danger men at work
Danger men at work
Danger men at work danger men
At work danger men

At work danger men,
At work danger men,
At work danger men at work dane
Ger men at work dane

Ger men at work dane
Ger men at work dane
Ger men at work danger men at
Work danger men at

Work danger men at
Work danger men at
Work danger men at work danger
Men at work danger

Men at work danger
Men at work danger
Men at work danger men at work
Danger men at work
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 29-08-2014 19:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

EnolaGaia wrote:
theyithian wrote:
I don't care which book or lecture you learnt the word 'granularity' from, it's still an ugly and awkward word!


In my domain (working as a senior scientific researcher / consultant) it's a common term of precise connotation used on a daily basis. Sorry if it causes you to gag ...


theyithian wrote:
More importantly, I take your point about words that appear in filed order, but are you assuming that the circle ought to be capable of being read both clockwise and anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise if you're of the American persuasion)? If you are, constructions such as 'a circle' may still work because 'circle' can be either a noun or a verb: We circle a star.


No, I wan't making any such assumption. I didn't understand McAvennie's problem statement to require any such reconfigured sentence be readable in both directions.

McAvennie: Was that your intention?


Just to make sense read normally. Bonus point if it can be read backwards too, but not a necessity.
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