And and and and and

I was talking to some friends recently about a sentence that contains the word 'and' five consecutive times and yet is grammatically correct. If you haven't heard this before it sounds unlikely but imagine that the publican who runs the Pig And Whistle is having a new sign painted. He might easily ask the sign-painter for more space between Pig and And and And and Whistle.

But what I was trying to remember as I explained this to my friends was a way to put even more consecutive ands in a grammatically-correct sentence. I was convinced there was a way to do 14. A quick Google shows that you can do 21. The sentence above, one might say, would be clearer if there were quotation marks between Pig and and, and and and and, and and and and, and and and and, and and and and, and and and Whistle.

Of course, nobody really talks about putting quotation marks "between" words, we talk about putting them "around" words, which would mess up that sentence a little but, usage aside, it's grammatically correct.

One you start looking for this kind of thing, there seem to be lots of similar examples. It's possible to use 'had' 11 consecutive times in a grammatically correct sentence, for example: James, while John had had 'had', had had 'had had'; 'had had' had had a better effect on the teacher.

If you'd like to raise the stakes, you can construct a grammatically correct sentence using the same word, repeated eight times. If you use 'buffalo' in the American sense, meaning to confuse, you can buffalo people with the following: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

If you know of any other sentences that operate in a similar way, please add them in the comments.

I'll leave you with a small fact I discovered while reading about the above: stifle is an anagram of itself.