How crazy can “and” be?

After seeing completely insane examples of “and” usage in this question
, I realized that I have no clue how to use the word “and” grammatically:

How far does the insanity go? Are the following grammatical?

  1. John is, and Sally hates, cooking.
  2. John has once ineptly, and Sally hates, cooked meat.
  3. Sally hates, and Michael said that John has ineptly, boiled vegetables.
  4. Sally, at the bakery, bought, and the makeup on her nose, cakes.

If 2 is grammatical, what does Sally hate exactly? If 3 is grammatical, does Sally hate boiled vegetables, or boiling vegetables? If 4 is grammatical, I’m going to cry.

This question is inspired by trying to incorporate “and” into a mechanical parsing of English, which, surprisingly, is a lot tougher than anything else.


All of your examples, while not exactly nonsensical, are highly unusual. They all include words that are forced to display multiple incompatible meanings:

  1. The verb form is cooking, versus the noun cooking

  2. The verb form has cooked with the object meat, versus the noun phrase cooked meat

  3. The adjective boiled, versus the verb form has boiled

  4. The verb bought with the object cakes, versus the verb form cakes

The question you linked asks about who serving as both object and subject; this is allowable because the sense of the word who is preserved. Though it serves multiple grammatical functions in the sentence, it displays only one meaning.

Though all of your examples can be parsed, they are not natural constructions in any dialect of English, and no native speaker would regularly produce them. The problem is that this is a question not of syntax but of semantics. A parser that recognises statements such as these must allow terms not only to have multiple simultaneous meanings, but also to overlap one another.

Source : Link , Question Author : Ron Maimon , Answer Author : Jon Purdy

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