What is the most incomprehensible, pseudo-smart sentence you've ever read?

I want to be really clear about what I’m asking…Not totally illogical because of a grammar mistake or because it sticks out as not making sense in the context…I mean a pseudo-scientific, “every other word capitalized” kind of gobbeldy-gook. My friend and I are having a contest…


Does it have to be from a book? The only reason I ask is because the first season of True Detectives could be the poster child for this type of self-indulgence.

Time is a flat circle

Full disclosure: I loved the first season of True Detectives.

Does it have to have been written in earnest?

"It depends upon what the meaning of ‘is’ is.
(Bill Clinton)

Almost any sentence from Ulysses.

I’ve always been fond of the technical description of the Turbo-encabulator:

The original machine had a base plate of prefabulated amulite, surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two main spurving bearings were in a direct line with the panametric fan. The latter consisted simply of six hydrocoptic marzlevanes, so fitted to the ambifacient lunar waneshaft that side fumbling was effectively prevented.

Sonja: But judgement of any system or a priori relation of phenomena exists in any rational or metaphysical or at least epistemological contradiction to an abstract and empirical concept such as being or to be or to occur in the thing itself or of the thing itself.

Boris: Yeah, I’ve said that many times.

Assembly instructions from almost any Chinese product.

That’s definitely not gobbledygook. It’s perfectly understandable, just wrong.

I decisioned the necessifaction of the resignatory action/option due to the dangerosity of the trendflowing of foreign policy away from our originatious careful coursing towards consistensivity, purposity, steadfastnitude, and above all, clarity.

– Jeff MacNeilly, in his cartoon of Alexander Haig

Have you ever listened to the lyrics of anything by Gilbert & Sullivan?

Only that it’s rather comprehensible but still:

“In the Nuts (unground), (other than ground nuts) Order, the expression nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than ground nuts, as would but for this amending Order not qualify as nuts (unground) (other than ground nuts) by reason of their being nuts (unground)”.

In French?


It’s a long poem, very obscure- and sophisticated-sounding, but actually the entire thing is a palindrome.

Our own Leo Bloom has penned more than a few such sentences that would be in the running. However, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to sift through the myriad offerings to find the prime example.

ETA: I want to be clear I mean this in good fun. I like LB. I mean no disrespect or hostility. I think he knows full well what he does. :slight_smile:

“Side fumbling” sounds as if it refers to someone who wishes to have an extramarital affair but is too clumsy to actually do so. :slight_smile:

Um, 14 posts and no postmodernism?


I’m not sure if this technically qualifies, but it’s definitely in the right universe.

https://www.distractify.com/fyi/2015/04/13/19NMFR/the-19-most-mind-blowing-sentences-in-the-english-language-1197891759. (It’s number 8 on a list of 20 strangest sentences of the english language. Interesting read either way).

“This exceeding trifling witling, considering ranting criticizing concerning adopting fitting wording being exhibiting transcending learning, was displaying, notwithstanding ridiculing, surpassing boasting swelling reasoning, respecting correcting erring writing, and touching detecting deceiving arguing during debating”.

How about classical music reviews? Always thought these people were talking down to anyone reading them. Like this guy:

“If Mahler’s music would speak Yiddish, it would be perhaps unintelligible to me. But it is repulsive to me because it acts Jewish. This is to say that it speaks musical German, but with an accent, with an inflection, and above all, with the gestures of an eastern, all too eastern Jew. So, even to those whom it does not offend directly, it can not possibly communicate anything. One does not have to be repelled by Mahler’s artistic personality in order to realize the complete emptiness and vacuity of an art in which the spasm of an impotent mock-Titanism reduces itself to a frank gratification of common seamstress-like sentimentality.”


He doesn’t like Mahler’s music and may actually dislike the man himself. :slight_smile:

The only good thing about Mahler is that Alben Berg is even worse.