My Self-Referential Madness
Isn't it odd that you are reading this!
Two articles in Metamagical Themas by Douglas
R. Hofstadter in the
January 1981 and January 1982 Scientific American magazine is what got me started in
the maddening joy-ride of self-referencialism. For those interested in odd,
circular, self-referential statements and other linguistic mind benders I include some
which I have authored. I hope that theses statements tickle your mind as
much as they did me while writing them.
Drawing Hands - MC Escher
My Self-Referential and Odd Statements
- This is a self-referential sentence.
- This is a sentence.
- This is written only to inform you that it is.
- This is written only so that you may read it
- When you come to the end of this sentence stop!
- You can quote me.
- Forget that you ever read this.
- Don't believe anything you read.
- This is the last word I'm going to write. No this is.
- This is the first thing I want to say.
- This is the first word in this sentence.
- I bet that you're reading this sentence.
- Don't read this.
- How do I know that you're reading this sentence?
- After you read this sentence you will blink your eyes.
- I really didn't want to write this sentence, but it's
too late to change my mind.
- I don't know why I wrote this.
- I wasn't sure if I should write this, but you know
what I decided.
- I tried not to write this, but apparently I did not
try hard enough.
- The first letter and the last letter in this sentence
is the samet.
- The first letter and the last letter of this sentence
are different, no matter what I do it doesn't seem to work out, so I'll just
say the first and last letter of this sentence is not the same.
- This sentence is too short to say what I really want
- I know you're reading me.
- Can you read this?
- I have no real reason for writing this sentence.
- I wrote this only because I know you would read it.
- If you can't read this sentence, tell me.
- It's very difficult to express my self in this
- Check out this. (period)
- Stop at the period.
- May I ask a question?
- What is the meaning of this?
- This is the proof that this sentence has been written.
- Upon reading this sentence you will realize that you
- The end is at the beginning of this sentence.
- This would have been a one word statement, but the
explanation ruined it.
- To save space one word is
- You are reading this because you are.
- You owe me $10 for reading this sentence.
- Congratulations for reading this sentence.
- This sentence is only for literate people to read.
- How do you spell jleuretlksyd?
- S. A. R. (Reverse Acronym Society)
- You are an idiot if you do not understand this.
- This is the genetic code of this sentence.
- This is my comment.
- I exist.
- You are reading this now therefore you are not a
- I can't find a word to describe .
- This sentence can be duplicated asexually.
- Are you looking at me?
- This is the actual size of this sentence.
- I predict I will be terminated here.
- I have been sentenced to be read.
- I predict that first you will read this then you will
- D..ots ..a..ll....ove..er....t..he......pl..a...ce....
- This is a beginners m ssing l tter p zzle. Th s I an
inte mediate m ss g l tt er p z le. Th .
- Read this.
- This sentence looks like this because a is
- I am just a bunch of letters and spaces.
- The first time you read this will be the last time you
read this for the first time.
- Can you answer this question?
- You're so vane, you probably think this sentence is
- _________ is omitted.
- Repeat repeat.
- This is a six word sentence but unfortunately this
remark ruined it.
- I have no excuse for being here.
This is the Title of this Poem
This is the body of this poem
and this is the last line of the poem
72. Perhaps my poem
Self Criticism should
be included here
Comment: I find that in a conversation most people ignore self referential
statements. Not sure if they find them trite or they do not understand them or
simply they are not stimulated by them. For me there is this mental tickle or
more like a spasm but whatever it is I get stimulated by them and other odd
statements. Not sure how common this is.
I received an email from Christopher Beck a
living proof that there are others out there. Check out his self-referential
statements, some are hilarious and other will toy with your sanity.
August 5, 2010
I stumbled upon your website looking for
those awesome SA articles on self-reference. Your site look like a lot of fun.
I will check it out more later. Your self-referential sentences inspired me to
write some of my own.
I love weird word stuff, too.
Perhaps you would like to join my fictitious organization:
SNAP (Stop Needless Acronym Proliferation.)
Many years ago a coworker said to me, "Was
that what that was?", and I answered, "Was what what what was?" It was a truly
odd sentence, symmetrical, too, and it actually made sense.
Anyway, you are welcome to peruse my
overly-autobiographical, and occasionally amusing (I hope) website. It's:
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any mental
distress or addiction that the above odd and self-referential sentences may
Note: Unfortunately I could not locate online the Douglas R.
Hofstadter self-referential articles in Metamagical Themas in the January 1981
issue of Scientific American magazine. If you however seek more punishment go to: