Professor Ernest Brennecke of Columbia is credited with inventing a sentence that can be made to have eight different meanings by placing ONE WORD in all possible positions in the sentence: “I hit him in the eye yesterday.”
The Query: What is this word?
The Answer: The word is “ONLY”.
1. ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did.)
2. I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him.)
3. I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others.)
4. I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit outside the eye.)
5. I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday. (Not other organs.)
6. I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday. (He doesn’t have another eye.)
7. I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday. (Not today.)
8. I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY. (Did not wait for today.)