Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Comparative illusion


In linguistics, comparative illusions (CIs) or Escher sentences are certain comparative sentences which initially seem to be acceptable but upon closer reflection have no well-formed meaning. The typical example sentence used to typify this phenomenon is More people have been to Russia than I have.

c.f. Frank Sullivan's wolf sentences:

  • This is the best salad I ever put in my whole mouth.
  • It was a heck of a party, everyone in the room was there.
  • I've got more money than I can afford.

As I consider them whole new vistas are opening up behind me*.

* My first attempt at one of my own.

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