Thursday, August 31, 2006

10 Consecutive Hads

As a follow-up to yesterday's post on unusual words, a grammatically correct sentence submitted by a reader with ten successive uses of the word 'had':

John, where Janet had had 'had', had had 'had had'. Had 'had had' been the correct answer.....


Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel,
Just wanted to drop in to say that you must be an amazing person. I can't really imagine what it must be like to perceive the world the way you do. I work in a bookshop in Australia; we recently received your book. Since then, my boss and I have been running about singing praises, so you're quite famous in my tiny corner of Perth, WA! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself.
Best, Felicity

Anonymous said...

Hello, me again. In relation to "had had" have you ever read a book called The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde? On pages 256-257 there's about ten sentences with "had had" and "that that" in them, it's hilarious. For example,
- So what's the problem in Pilgrim's Progress?
- "That that had that that ten times but had had had had only thrice. Increased had had usage had had to be overlooked but not if the number exceeds that that that usage." So funny.

Anonymous said...

I have just finished your book and recognised a lot of myself in it. Thank you for that; it is helpful. I have talked to friends about it and we wonder whether Neil would be able to talk about how your 'differentness' affects him. Is this possible?

yitz said...

I once saw an old hebrew text that had a whole chapter where every word started with the letter bet. (And of course, the text was also meaningful and conveyed a depth of ideas.)

Anonymous said...

I know of a very lengthy devotional hymn in Urdu which was written without any letters containing dots. This is a unique piece of poetry and in English it would be like writing a (good) lengthy poem without any vowels but even this is a bad comparison because in Urdu there are far more letters with dots than there are vowels in English.

Another can of worms is Palindromes of which I'm very fond. Here are a few: LIVE DIRT UP A SIDETRACK CARTED IS A PUTRID EVIL which is the longest sentence of its kind.


And, finally, the first remark made by a man to a woman was: MADAM, I'M ADAM.

Anonymous said...

We were taught this at school -

James, though John had had 'had' had had 'had had'. 'Had had' had had the examiner's approval.
Eleven hads!

Daniel Tammet said...

Hi Felicity,

No I've never read any Jasper Fforde, though I know of the name with the two F's.

Hi Mary,

Neil is a very private person, though I discuss our relationship and how my differentness affects it in my book.

Anonymous said...

My new favorite: Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.


[Buffalo, NY] [bison] (that) [Buffalo, NY] [bison] [intimidate], [intimidate] (other) [Buffalo, NY] [bison]

Daniel, you are a spectacularly interesting individual, and you've found yourself a new regular reader of your blog :)

Keep up the posting, and feel free to tell us about your adventures in between the fun little puzzles.

- Philip

Anonymous said...


connaissez-vous l'oeuvre de Georges Perec, écrivain et créateur de l"OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) ? Avec quelques amis il a exploré les limites de la langue française de façon fascinante.

Il a notamment écrit "La Disparition", roman de plusieurs centaines de pages sans utiliser une seule fois la lettre E, pourtant largement la plus fréquente en français. Un autre de ses livre est un palindrome parfait de... cinquante pages!

Les jeux de lettres sont des jeux de l'esprit. Vous n'êtes pas seul dans votre solitude.

Avec ma meilleure considération,

Frank O'Phone

Z-Prime said...

Hey daniel,
Just wanted to say hello. You are an inspiration for people who have mental abilities that are not considered "normal" what's not normal about you is an incentive for a lot of people to take a second look at how they view the world. I have no idea what it feels like to compute a number thousands of places but i know that there exist a topology in numbers that i search for everyday. In the world of numbers i see the number 1 as God. You see numbers as an event but how do you see the first 10 numbers. I saw in a documentary that you see five as a flash of lightning. Why? What is it about the topology of five that represents this flash of light. Thanks for your time.