I’ve been getting more promises on the “nuts” puzzle (see Jan. 25 below). To get closer at the question, I’ve tried a couple of alternate sentences with the same structure, but easier content.

Let me emphasize that the question for me is, how difficult or easy normal readers find these to comprehend, grammatically. They are tough for me: too many strings of noun phrases. But if normal readers find this confusing, then I should not bother investigating the structure further or find an explanation for my difficulty. If they find it easy, then I need to look at the structure carefully, not just out of linguistic curiosity, but to see if it can understand my deficits better or even help me towards fluency. That’s why it’s important to me.

So, consider a detective trying to get a confession from a murderer who made a bloody mess of a body:

1. “In other words, we need an information plan of interrogation in which the knowing murderer who alone has made the body bloodied will confess, in light of the interrogation’s information, that he is in fact guilty of that information.”

Or considering a light source that will hide a pigment:

2.”In other words, we need a means of light for which the affected pigment that makes it otherwise a texture visible will appear, within this kind of light, no longer visible.”

Or, with no discussion necessary:

3. “In other words, we need the generousity of forgiveness for which the faulted writer who made the sentence mangled will accept, recognizing our own faulted writing, that he is willing to be forgiven.”

If these are difficult, then I won’t pursue them. If they are easy, then they are an important clue to my current state of grammatical ability.


One Response to “puzzle-of-the-week”

  1. Dorothy Ross Says:

    The first one I could understand with a bit of effort. The second and third were confusing even after several readings. I think the problem in the second two sentences were a combination of syntaxes – in the second one, the negative in the last phrase seemed to make the sentence more difficult to understand. The third sentence had a passive in the last phrase.

    Also in the third sentence, the fact that writer two makes errors is irrelevant to the errors of the first, but in the first sentence, the knowledge of the investigator is critical in determining guilt.

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