Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

How many “ands” in a row

How can you put the word “and” 5 times in a row in the same sentence? I need to tell a story. The landlord of a pub called The Pig And Whistle asked a signwriter to make a new sign. When he saw it he thought that the words were too close together so he said to the signwriter “I want more space between Pig and And and And and Whistle”.

  • September 26, 2005
  • Posted by martin2
  • Filed in Usage
  • 53 comments

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Comments

shouldnt it be "Pig and And and Whistle? Theres only one and.

jj Sep-26-2005

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no, no, if the sign red pigandwhistle, there needs to be more space between the pig and and, as well as and and whistle...so he said "I want more space between Pig and And and And and Whistle." it makes perfect sense.

blake Sep-26-2005

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My email account needs 1 set of 2 passwords that i must enter in 2 separate password text boxes. But because the password entry are case sensitive, "And" and "And", "And" and "and", "and" and "And", and "and" and "and" are actually different sets of passwords.

interesting Sep-26-2005

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no. there needs to be space between the words "pig" and "and"... and also between "and" and "whistle". get it?

Matt2 Sep-26-2005

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i live on a farm and i have a horse and a chicken and a goat and a pig and a farrett and a dog and a cat and 2 rats and i have a big house and there is 5 bedrooms and the stuff in my room is Bed and blankets and (ect...) the word and can go on forever as long as your explaning something!!
Peace everyone

Christina2 Sep-26-2005

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no jj because Pig and And is one space, he is describing that space between Pig and And, THEN describes the space between And and Whistle.

ge-off Sep-26-2005

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Pig And Whistle

space between, Pig and And
and
And and Whistle.

i see how it makes sense

anonymous4 Sep-26-2005

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And your point is?

Turlok Sep-26-2005

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"I want more space between Pig, And, and Whistle".

Easy enough?

Allgonzo Sep-26-2005

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no they are saying, like many of people alrady have, that they're saying there needs to be more space between "Pig" and "And", and more space between "And" and "Whistle"
see if u understand it this way
the guy said there need to be more space between "Pig" and "And" and more space between "And" and "Whistle"
its quite simple. im in gr 10 n i figured it out:)

russ Sep-26-2005

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haha that's really tickled me. well played martin.

mr_david Sep-27-2005

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I would opt for:
There should be more space between the words.

browil Sep-27-2005

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this subject should have been eanded at Allgonzo

Gina1 Sep-27-2005

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ended* my bad

gine Sep-27-2005

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Assuming that the five 'and's is something you want to retain...
I'd put a comma after the first group, personally.

"I want more space between Pig and And, and And and Whistle".

Otherwise, something along the lines of "I want more space between the words" would do.

Hidybob Sep-28-2005

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Also, maybe by putting quotations around the "Pig", "And", and "Whistle" will help, though I'm not 100% sure if it's grammatically correct that way, but may help clarify the intent while retaining the clever usage of the word.

Scott1 Sep-28-2005

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Thanks, after looking at 'and' and 'And' so much the word now no longer looks real. Like it's a joke word. Either way its got nice meter.

And and And and And and And and...

intials Sep-28-2005

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Everyone has said "and" too many times! The word has no meaning anymore! AGHHH! By the way, I believe the sentence is perfectly grammaticly correct, it's just confusing to one if the sign-maker is trying to convey his message clearly or make a terrible joke.

flashmaker13 Sep-28-2005

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LOL 'and' is just three letters now, thanks to you guys

Scott1 Sep-29-2005

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Everyone is going into way too much thought on this. Adding a comma like the first comment said is perfectly fine. You have to give the readers a cue to take a breath and break up the sentence in their minds. Pig and And, and And Whistle. Also commenting on the statement by "Christina," you cannot have a list of more than two things using "and" between them all. That's why commas are used.

Erin1 Sep-30-2005

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WhAT THE HECK IS CHRISTINA TALKING ABOUT?
ARE YOU CRAZY? SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

Jillian1 Oct-07-2005

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Oh, come on now, everyone. I don't think Martin is asking for any advice. I think he's just being provocative or trying to be clever. Personally, I think he succeeded. By the way, a small thing. The landlord should tell the signmaker about a second mistake. the "And" that appeared on the original sign should not have been capitalized.
It should have read: "The Pig and Whistle"

porsche Oct-26-2005

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Bacon And Eggs
There is a space between the words;
Bacon and And and And and Eggs.

Daft init LOL, tickles me though.

lee_willcox Nov-29-2005

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And ?

Anand Nov-29-2005

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Thank you, Martin! Unbeknownst to you, your sharing touched a special place.

Some 30+ yrs ago my dear father put the challenge to us over dinner as to how it was possible to use the word 'and' five times in sequence and be perfect English. His example read as Goose and and and and and Swan.

At the time I just didn't get it. I recall with much fondness the delight he derived from eventually divulging the answer, but for decades occasionally wondered how on earth the word 'and' could be used as described.

That I missed it was entirely due to the fact that I was too young to process the sublety of the humour, but the challenge itself stuck with me. Years later, thanks to your post, I finally got there! He who laughs last does so because he finally resorts to Google! GIYF!

sincerely, Pat.

Pat Dec-02-2005

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A variation, if the sign reads "Roland and Andrew: "You haven't got the spaces right between "Rol" and "and" and "and" and "and" and "and" and "And" and "And" and "rew."

Aarow Dec-07-2005

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My wife suggested,

"The poor mental patient could do nothing but mutter '...and and and and and...' over and over again."

as an alternate solution to the puzzle.

I kind of liked it. Almost elegant in its dogged inelegance.

Avrom Dec-09-2005

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I think it is simply somebody who tutterrrrss alot. simple pimple

Sophey Dec-20-2005

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Who the heck would name their pub "The Pig And Whistle " anyway? Shouldn't be "The Pig And the Whistle "?

Glenn_M Jun-14-2006

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Are you sure you're not thinking of the word "that"? As in "The grammatician said that that that that that boy used was incorrect."?

Joachim1 Jun-28-2006

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Doh! Didn't read the next topic about "thats" first. And I was so proud of myself.

Joachim1 Jun-28-2006

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thats amazing!

pizz23po Sep-25-2006

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the pub should be called the fox and hound, much better name than pig and whistle

Matty Jan-01-2007

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I got this second hand from my super whome had it put to him at an afternoon meeting by the manager. He and many others did not understand what the manager was trying to say and could not grasp the 5 "ands" and neither did I. Thanks Martin for explaining this to me and on presenting this to my 16 year old son who got it straight away. (It's how you tell it).

Dave_M May-03-2007

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think you guys should all be given a big 'and for this. Well done!

mike7 May-03-2007

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Five is good but can be bettered. Think of a company called Brand and Anderson having a sign made up. Unfortunately, the sign writer completely screwed up his spacing as such:

He put spaces all wrong, he did them between Br and and and and and and and and and and and and and derson.

That's 13 in a row, making perfect sense.

Stevie1 May-08-2008

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Hi. I think you can have an infinite number of consecutive ands and still create a grammatically correct and meaningful sentence. Here is how it works. Assume that you are not pleased with the spaces put between the words "Pig and And and And and Whistle" in the sentence "I want more space between Pig aNd And anD And aNd Whistle" (Capitalization used to mark the different ands.)
You may say "I want more space between Pig and aNd, aNd and And, And and anD, anD and And, and aNd and Whistle" (I have used the "Oxford Comma" for clarity.)


Then if you are not happy with the spaces between the words "Pig and aNd, aNd and And, And and anD, anD and And, and aNd and Whistle" in that sentence you can write another sentance which has even more ands, and you can keep going on and on in this way.

hans.gray Feb-02-2010

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I would like more space HERE and HERE.

Robert2 May-04-2010

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Here's how I changed it to add a little twist.

The store owner of a dollar shop asks the sign painter and his helper to paint "This And That" above his store. Later, he sees the painter has painted "ThisAndThat". "No, no!" he says. "There's a space between "This" and "And" and "And" and "That!".

The painter's helper looks up at the sign, points and asks "Is that that "That" that that guy was talking about?".

dansbikeshop May-30-2010

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Then the Painter turns to the helper and says, "no, not That that, THAT that!"

porsche May-31-2010

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@porsche you're doing it wrong.

The painter turns to the helper and says, "No, not that that, THAT that that that guy is pointing at.

cartopher Oct-28-2010

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I think the pub story is simply an everyday example. It serves merely to illustrate the idea. There are clearly much better ways to get the message across and in that sense the story is wanting.

AFAIK the most 'and's you can have in series is five. This is because it is only appropriate to use the word and when dealing with two items. Here we have two sets of items, each consisting of a pair of items one item in each of the sub pairs is also 'and'.

You can't continue to add subsets without creating a list, in which you should list the items instead of saying or writing 'and'. Hence the maximum of five given in the example story.

In structural terms: (Bell and And) and (And and Whistle)

I think the pub name is also a subtle play on the idiom.

Zarahemna Mar-28-2011

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How the hell does it work without making a person stutter

2Hellwithnostalgia Apr-03-2011

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Doesn't this fall into the comma usage exception category?

Red1 Apr-04-2011

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"Pig and and and and and Whistle" is a well known puzzle (I remember the puzzle as a kid), so I could easily decide to write a book of puzzles called "'The Pig and And and And and Whistle' and Other Word Puzzles". Then, as hans.gray suggested, it is fine and grammatical to have a typesetter refer to the spaces between Pig and And, and And and And, and And and And, and And and And, and And and And, and And and Whistle...

Graham1 Sep-07-2011

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A sign writer completed a shop sign incorrectly, so the shopkeeper complained, saying, you've put too many ands in the sign. It should read; Jones and Son. You've put Jones and and Son, Also the gaps between, Jones and and and and and and and and and Son are all different sizes.
There you go, and, 9 times in one sentence. Anyone for ands knees and bumps a daisy?

Cockney Kid. Jan-27-2012

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I had the same problem with my pub the Fondle and Finger, too many bloody 'ands

Shy Talk Oct-01-2012

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No, Christina, you only use "and" in lists prior to the last item, otherwise commas are used. Plus, I believe the point is to use it consecutively (in a row, right next to itself). Your example just put it (tediously) between things. You also said "your explaining" rather than "you're explaining". Just thought I'd point that out.

Grama Queen Sep-07-2013

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Firstly, this sounds like spoken English to me rather than written language, and I think Cristina knew perfectly well what the questioner meant and was simply having a bit of a joke. And in any case there is no rule that says that you' have to use commas instead of 'and' between items; it is simply a convention to replace 'and' with a comma.

Personally, what I find tedious is when people take it on themselves to correct someone else's grammar uninvited.Just thought I'd point that out

I can only assume the reason you've given yourself that particular moniker is that you like to make a drama out of (a grammatical) nothing.

Warsaw Will Sep-08-2013

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Okay, first port of call - I apologise for making the mistake of thinking that the use of commas in a list is rule rather than convention, not having left school I've not studied English at university. You're most probably from a different country to myself where the rules and conventions are different, so it may be that neither made a mistake.
Secondly - I apologise to Cristina if it sounded like I's calling you tedious, I just find it incredibly annoying trying to get through lengthy texts on my computer with my diminished eyesight.
Third - my name comes from something I once called my Dad (from whom I picked up some habits) and find making a fuss over nothing as tedious as long lists. I simply can't stand the idea of people holding erroneous or ignorrant beliefs in contradiction to fact - call it a compulsive need to educate. I just don't like people being wrong.

Grama Queen Sep-09-2013

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The sentence martin2 originally posted would have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Pig and between Pig and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Whistle, as well as after Whistle!

Dave Walker May-01-2014

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Is it just me, or is the spacing between 'Pig' and 'and' and 'and' and 'And' and 'And' and 'and' and 'and' and 'And' and 'And' and 'and' and 'and' and 'Whistle' just a little bit off...?

thedragon9059 Apr-30-2016

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Wouldn't it have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Peg, and between Peg and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Whistle, as well as after whistle?" This sentence is much easier to read because the writer placed commas between and and and and and and And, and and and and And and and And and and, and and And and and and and and and And, and and and and And and and And and and, and and And and and and and and and.

Josh S. Feb-13-2017

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