In message <rubrum-9D09C2.firstname.lastname@example.org>, Michael Press <email@example.com> writes >In article ><firstname.lastname@example.org>, > "Peter T. Daniels" <email@example.com> wrote: > >> On Aug 5, 5:39 pm, Michael Press <rub...@pacbell.net> wrote: >> > In article >> > <c067aa1b-655b-4da9-b167-537105f4d...@c58g2000hsc.googlegroups.com>, >> > "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> wrote: >> > >> > > Hunh? Did you read what I wrote? "Let the cat out of the bag" works no >> > > matter what its syntax. "Kick the bucket" doesn't. >> > >> > > Poems have been written to "clarify" "Colorless green ideas sleep >> > > furiously." >> > >> > It all parses perfectly. What is your thesis? >> > Each sentence expresses a notion of a state of affairs. >> >> I have no idea what you're talking about. (Brit: what you're on >> about.) >> >> "Colorless ..." is about the most famous sentence in linguistics; it's >> Chomsky's pioneering example of a sentence that is perfectly >> grammatical (as everyone will agree) and uninterpretable. > >It is a deliberate contradiction in terms.
It _contains_ a contradiction, but that's not the point. If that bothers you, delete the first word, or substitute something else.
>Such sentences are often constructed for amusement. >Sometimes such a sentence is resolved. >A well constructed sentence can be mechanically analyzed. >Barring self-contradiction it has intrinsic meaning.
So consider e.g. "Rectangular green ideas sleep furiously." No self-contradiction. What's its "intrinsic meaning"?