Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously

I first read of Noam Chomsky in my Introduction to Linguistics class in connection with his “colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”   It is a semantically meaningless sentence that is nevertheless syntactically correct.

My professors, anthropological linguists with interests decidedly different from Chomksy’s, always spoke in awe of the man’s revolutionary contributions to the field.

What I read of his was never easy.  There was a lot I didn’t understand.  Although I was aware at the time of his political writings, assuming they would be written in a similar manner, I decided against even trying.

I could not have been more wrong.  When I began to read him, I found him remarkably approachable.

For those interested, here is his website:

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