Although it probably doesn’t seem like it the title of this post makes sense. In fact it makes, in a way, more sense than most sentences.
The other day I mentioned auto-antonyms (here: Why different species can’t mate) and after doing so my father asked me what “Literally dusting” would be. As literal and dusting have two meanings a piece how many meanings of the sentence would there be? The answer is four meanings from two words.
|A||A||Actually remove dust|
|A||B||Actually put a fine powder on something|
|B||A||Not actually remove dust|
|B||B||Not actually put a fine powder on something|
And after that we started discussing how complicated we could actually make the sentence. We worked out that for each two meaning word we added we were doubling the previous number of options. Here’s how the options work visually:
And then we just started adding words. Now the sentence we ended up with does make sense, not necessarily at first perhaps, but it does. And fine has three meanings to boot exquisite, small and just good enough. Which means that “Literally overlook fine hard dusting custom run trial drive time” has 1536 different meanings. Which is pretty good going.