Colourless Green Ideas
In his seminal Syntactic Structures (1957), the great linguist and political thinker, Noam Chomsky, devised this brilliant piece of nonsense to demonstrate that sentence meaning and structure were quite separate:
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
Although clearly nonsensical, it is grammatically perfect in English, as any speaker of the language would attest. We observe that each successive word contradicts the former: If something is green it cannot be colourless; ideas are abstract, hence cannot be green or any other colour for that matter; ideas cannot sleep; and one may sleep fitfully but not furiously. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
In Singapore we do not need a Chomsky to coin these sentences for us ... for we have our very own Ja!