James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher


James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher”這個英文句子是用來說明用词歧義标点符号的重要性;[1]標點符號的作用就是代替口語中的語調[2]重音停頓[3]在探討人類如何處理資訊的研究中,常用這句話来說明讀者會借助標點符號來理解句子的意思,尤其在掃讀多行文字時更是如此。[4]


故事起自有兩個學生,James(詹姆斯)和John(約翰)。他們曾經需要在一個英語考試上描述一個曾經着涼的人。約翰寫的句子是“The man had a cold”,這句在文法上不正確;而詹姆斯寫的句子在文法上正確:“The man had had a cold”。老師於是註記「由於詹姆斯的答案是正確的,所以它對於老師有一個較好的效果。」


James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.[5]

(翻译:詹姆斯在当约翰用“had”时用了“had had”,老师认为“had had”的效果更好。)


James had had "had had", while John had had "had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.

(翻译:詹姆斯用了“had had”,而约翰用了“had”,老师认为“had had”的效果更好。)


這句子可以作為一個文法遊戲[6][7][8]或一條考試題目,[1][2]考生需要赋予合适的標點符號來明晰句子意思。汉斯·赖申巴赫(Hans Reichenbach)在1947年出版的《符号逻辑要素》一书中用了一个类似的句子(“John where Jack...”),給讀者作為練習,以说明语言的不同层次,例如目標語言元語言,其用意是让读者为句子添加所需的标点符号,使之具有语法意义。[9]

在說明人們如何理解環境中不同信息的意義是,这个句子被用来证明看似随意的决定能极大地改变其意义。类似于句子中标点符号的变化如何使老師時而喜欢詹姆斯的作品,時而喜歡约翰的作品。例子:「James, while John had had "had," had...」與「James, while John had had "had had,"...」。[10]



""Okay," said the Bellman, whose head was in danger of falling apart like a chocolate orange, "let me get this straight: David Copperfield, unlike Pilgrim’s Progress, which had had 'had', had had 'had had'. Had 'had had' had TGC’s approval?""



  1. ^ 1.0 1.1 Magonet, Jonathan. A rabbi reads the Bible 2nd. SCM-Canterbury Press. 2004: 19 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 9780334029526. You may remember an old classroom test in English language. What punctuation marks do you have to add to this sentence so as to make sense of it? 
  2. ^ 2.0 2.1 Dundes, Alan; Carl R. Pagter. When you're up to your ass in alligators: more urban folklore from the paperwork empire Illustrated. Wayne State University Press. 1987: 135 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 0814318673. The object of this and similar tests is to make sense of a series of words by figuring out the correct intonation pattern. 
  3. ^ Hudson, Grover. Essential introductory linguistics. Wiley-Blackwell. 1999: 372 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 0631203044. Writing is secondary to speech, in history and in the fact that speech and not writing is fundamental to the human species. 
  4. ^ van de Velde, Roger G. Text and thinking: on some roles of thinking in text interpretation Illustrated. Walter de Gruyter. 1992: 43 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 3110132508. (原始内容存档于2020-05-06). In scanning across lines, readers also make use of the information parts carried along with the punctuatuion markes: a period, a dash, a colon, a semicolon or a comma may signal different degrees of integration/separation between the groupings. 
  5. ^ "Problem C: Operator Jumble"页面存档备份,存于互联网档案馆). 31st ACM International Collegiate Programming Conference, 2006–2007.
  6. ^ Amon, Mike. GADFLY. Financial Times. 2004-01-28 [2009-04-30]. (原始内容存档于2012-07-22). HAD up to here? So were readers of last week's column, invited to punctuate "Smith where Jones had had had had had had had had had had had the examiners approval." 
  7. ^ Jackson, Howard. Grammar and Vocabulary: A Resource Book for Students. Routledge. 2002: 123 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 0415231701. Finally, verbal humour is often an ingredient of puzzles. As part of an advertising campaign for its educational website , the Guardian (for 3 january 2001) included the following familiar grammatical puzzle. 
  8. ^ 3802 - Operator Jumble. [2012-01-07]. (原始内容存档于2008-10-13). 
  9. ^ Reichenbach, Hans (1947) Elements of symbolic logic. London: Collier-MacMillan. Exercise 3-4, p.405; solution p.417.
  10. ^ Weick, Karl E. Making Sense of the Organization 8th. Wiley-Blackwell. 2005: 186–187 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 0631223193. (原始内容存档于2020-10-31). Once a person has generated/bracketed part of the stream, then the activities of punctuation and connection (parsing) can occur in an effort to transform the raw data into information. 
  11. ^ Lecercle, Jean-Jacques. The violence of language Illustrated. Routledge. 1990: 86 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 0415034310. (原始内容存档于2020-05-07). Suppose I decide that I wish to make up a sentence containing eleven occurrences of the word 'had' in a row ... 
  12. ^ Hollin, Clive R. Contemporary Psychology: An Introduction Illustrated. Routledge. 1995: 34 [2009-04-30]. ISBN 0748401911. Do readers make use of the ways in which sentences are structured? 
  13. ^ Fforde, Jasper. The Well of Lost Plots. Hodder & Stoughton. 2003 [2012-04-30]. (原始内容存档于2020-11-04).