Science: Perverbs and Snowballs

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O to see man's stern poetic thought publicly expanding recklessly imaginative mathematical inventiveness, openmindedness unconditionally superfecundating nonantagonistical hypersophisticated interdenominational interpenetrabilities. This pyramid of words, each one a letter longer than the one above, is a snowball sentence. Read with care, from top to bottom, it actually makes sense. As difficult to compose as they are to pronounce, sentences like these are common coinages of OuLiPo—an abbreviation of Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (Workshop of Potential Literature). OuLiPo's 17 members — all Paris-based writers and scientists — meet once a month...

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