Green ideas, though colorless, sleep with fury.

Chomsky writes in his 1957 book Syntactic Structures:

Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
*Furiously sleep ideas green colorless.

It is fair to assume that neither sentence (1) nor (2) (nor indeed any part of these sentences) has ever occurred in an English discourse. Hence, in any statistical model for grammaticalness, these sentences will be ruled out on identical grounds as equally “remote” from English. Yet (1), though nonsensical, is grammatical, while (2) is not grammatical.[2]

While the meaninglessness of the sentence is often considered fundamental to Chomsky’s point, Chomsky was only relying on the sentences having never been spoken before. Thus, even if one were to ascribe a likely and reasonable meaning to the sentence, the grammaticality of the sentence is concrete despite being the first time a person had ever uttered the statement, or any part thereof in such a combination. This was used then as a counter-example to the idea that the human speech engine was based upon statistical models, such as a Markov chain, or simple statistics of words following others.

via Wikipedia

Built Houses for a Month

One common way to gauge whether an English verb phrase is telic is to see whether such a phrase as in an hour, in the sense of “within an hour”, (known as a time-frame adverbial) can be applied to it. Conversely, a common way to gauge whether the phrase is atelic is to see whether such a phrase as for an hour (a time-span adverbial) can be applied to it.[2][3][4][5] This can be called the time-span/time-frame test. According to this test, the verb phrase built a house is telic, whereas the minimally different built houses is atelic:
Fine: “John built a house in a month.”
Bad: *”John built a house for a month.”

→ built a house is telic
Bad: *”John built houses in a month.”
Fine: “John built houses for a month.”

→ built houses is atelic


It is – Say what?

It is -> it’s
It possesses that thing -> its

‘Its’ or ‘it’s’?
The word it’s is always short for ‘it is’ (as in it’s raining), or in informal speech, for ‘it has’ (as in it’s got six legs).
The word its means ‘belonging to it’ (as in hold its head still while I jump on its back). It is a possessive pronoun like his.

Don’t blame me. Seems like it should be the other way around.