Fourteen Hads

The following e-mail was sent out: John and Jane were taking an English class together, and on a test were asked to supply the verb for the following sentence: I ____ enough to eat. (past perfect tense)

When the teacher graded the papers, she found that whereas John had written "had," Jane had written "had had." Jane was correct. So, of course -

Jane, whereas John had had "had," had had "had had;" "had had" had had the teacher's approval.

The following e-mail response was sent out: Whew!! Alright, smart-alek, I can beat you by three (but only by piggy-backing on yours). Fourteen "had"s are made thusly:

Another student in the class was named Hadley, whose best friend (also in the class) was coincidentally named Hadley. Hadley (the first) made the same mistake as Jack, but Hadley (the second) got it right, garnering Hadley's (the first's) approval. So:

While Had had had "had," Had had had "had had;" "had had" had had Had nodding in approval.

[author and source unknown]

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