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That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is

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    $\begingroup$ A classic, but there's also the extended version: "That that is is that that is not is not that that is is not that that is not that that is not is not that that is is that it it is" $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ Are spoiler tags no longer a thing? $\endgroup$
    – bob
    Commented Mar 17, 2022 at 22:24
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    $\begingroup$ ---- continued ---- EG This Popular Question [[ puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/114774/… ]] has 10 Different answers, with 4 answers having more than 10 votes. This seems to the very Definition of "not fully defined" and having "speculative answers". Let us not treat new users with Different rules than long term users. $\endgroup$
    – Prem
    Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Prem Actually none of the users who voted to close this question are mods. Plus part of the motive behind closing it is likely that there is very little that is genuinely 'puzzle-y' about it - it's an exercise in punctuating a sentence, little more than that. Note also that with matchstick puzzles like the one you link there is a 'lateral-thinking' tag - this often leads to far more answers than the typical question on Puzzling. This is not a 'mods vs new users' situation - for many reasons! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Prem The question you linked has now been closed. $\endgroup$
    – noedne
    Commented Mar 24, 2022 at 3:56

5 Answers 5

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Can you punctuate this?
YES!

Punctuating "That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is"

That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is.

Meaning:
Statement: That which exists is existing. That which does not exist, is not existing.
Query: Is that all you want to state? OR Is that true?
Answer: That is all I want to state. OR That is true.

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  • $\begingroup$ I originally saw this with an extra 'not': "that that is is that that is not is not is not that it it is". The punctuation falls out the same: "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is not that it? It is." $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 17:36
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"That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is" can also be punctuated as follows:

"'That that is' is 'that that is'; 'not' is 'not'."

"Is that it?"

"It is"

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Alternative punctuations from a person conjecturing alone:

That? That is. Is that? That? Is not. Is not? Is that? It? It is.

That? That is. Is that, that? Is not. Is? Not. Is that it? It is.

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"That that is is that that" is not "is not is that it it is". (so true)

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Answer:

That, that is, is that that is not: is not is that it, it, is.

could analyzed to mean:

"That" i.e. being specific on given thing

"that is" , this is extra information specifying that year it is what we are referring to

"is that that is not" - meaning the referred is pretending to be a thing

we could have second phrase being its own sentence and punctuating with a full-stop were it to have started with it, but it doesn't so we use a colon to mean is a continuation of beginning phrase giving some sort of extra information or explanation or redundancy.

"Is not it that it" - first half of phrase

"it"- an extra information just like 'that is' i.e. emphasizing on it

"is" - continuation of the first half after the extra information.

validating our answer we could remove the extra information and it sounds sensible

First phrase (before colon)

That is that that is not.

then maybe rephrase

That is not what it is

we could have second phrase being its own sentence and punctuating with a full-stop were it to have started with it, but it doesn't so we use a colon to mean is a continuation of beginning phrase giving some sort of extra information or explanation or redundancy.

second phrase

is not is that it is.

which could be rephrased as

it is not what it seems to be

this is justifiable with the way that and what relate, and way is is a form of be

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  • $\begingroup$ hey what did you edit? @bobble $\endgroup$
    – whizboy
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 1:29
  • $\begingroup$ Please see my edit summary. Code formatting hurts accessibility, especially for screen readers, and is semantically incorrect. Inline Code Spans should not be used for emphasis, right? $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ oh got it, but i did not use it for emphasis, i used it to wrap original prose as was. but ok i am from overflow, a coder, so too so i may have overused it. ok then $\endgroup$
    – whizboy
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 15:37

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