Shashi Tharoor and his affinity for words need no introduction. His tweets on social media are proof enough of the same. From coining new words to imparting wisdom and enhancing our vocabulary, Tharoor’s tweets have been helpful and entertaining in more ways than one. In fact, such is the expectation from his tweets that people take offence when they can comprehend it all. But Tharoor, hardly one to disappoint, recently shared a message he received on WhatsApp and, well, it is as Tharoorian as it can get. “I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality, counterbalancing indecipherability, transcendentalizes intercommunication’s incomprehensibleness,” was the message that Thiruvananthapuram MP shared on Twitter.
Apparently taken from Dmitri Borgmann’s book Language on Vacation: An Olio of Orthographical Oddities, the sentence is an example of a rhopalic sentence, where each word contains one letter, or one syllable, more than the previous word. From the way it reads — where the 20th word “incomprehensibleness” is 20 letters long — the sentence might be the longest rhopalic sentence and, perhaps, that is why Tharoor thought it was “Quite a feat!” while sharing it. But, as we have seen in the past that even Tharoor can make mistakes. So while we are making no such claims, we are thoroughly amused by the sentence, much like the other people on social media. While one user feels that somebody is giving him tough completion, another wrote, “hard to believe it’s not you.”
This is his tweet.
Received on whats app. Quite a feat! pic.twitter.com/JfAQrwwt8V
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 7, 2018
Here are some of the ways people reacted to the tweet.
Sir somebody is giving you tough competion 😆
— अनिका ਗਿਨੀ (@goldiciousgurl) January 7, 2018
Hard to believe it’s not you.
— Rahul (@desicovfefe) January 7, 2018
Wow! You met your match finally!
— Namrata (@NamrataWakhloo) January 7, 2018
If you were to make it 21, What word would that be? @ShashiTharoor 🙏🏻
— vikram sunda (@congenialvik) January 7, 2018
It is still nothing against farrago..😂
— Nishant Bhardwaj🇮🇳 (@Ntiwary7) January 7, 2018
OMG!! Who tried giving a competition to Sashi sir!!!
— L. Priya (@Lalitpriyaa) January 7, 2018
And isn’t it so apt it has come to you…:)
— Rajeev Batra (@R_Batra_) January 7, 2018
Wont be surprised if it was you that compose the sentence
— Nithin Rao (@nithinrao) January 7, 2018
Looks like you have a competitor out there, Dr Tharoor
— Abhina Pradeep (@abhi197) January 7, 2018
In case you are curious, here are some other instances of rhopalic sentence – “I am now very happy”, “I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality, counterbalancing indecipherability, transcendentalizes intercommunications’ incomprehensibleness.” There is even a toy program that apparently helps you create your own rhopalic sentences. If you follow the program and the codes, then you can generate sentences in English where the first word in one letter long, the second word 2 letters and so on and so forth.