Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Long Compound Noun Alert

When I was a grad student at Brandeis, I always enjoyed the sign that said Volen Center for Complex Systems Building -- a single noun consisting of six words. From today's Slashdot comes Chinese Internet Addiction Boot Camp Prison Break. Not only is this compound noun seven words long; it doesn't even use a preposition! The number of possible bracketings (word groupings) of such a string is 429, as determined by the Catalan number with n = 7; however, the bracketing that makes the most sense to me is

[[Chinese [[internet addiction] [boot camp]]] [prison break]]

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