Noam Chomsky/Colorless green ideas sleep furiously

< Noam Chomsky

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." This sentence was invented by Noam Chomsky as an example of a sentence whose grammar is correct but for which the semantics are nonsense.

John Hollander wrote a poem titled "Coiled Alizarine" in his book, The Night Mirror. A copy of the poem on the Web can be found at [1]. It ends with Chomsky's sentence.

See [2] for the results of a 1985 literary competition in which the contestants attempted to make this sentence meaningful using not more than 100 words of prose or 14 lines of verse.