Sound Sense

A favorite kind of school-boy humor is that which takes the form of evolving sentences like the following: Forte dux fel flat in gutture, which is good Latin for ‘By chance the leader inhales poison in his throat,’ but which read off rapidly sounds like the English ‘Forty ducks fell flat in the gutter.’ A French example is Pas de lieu Rhône que nous, which it is hardly necessary to explain makes no sense in French at all, though every word be true Gallic, but by a similar process of reading reveals the proverbial advice, ‘Paddle your own canoe.’

— William Shepard Walsh, Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities, 1909

See also “It Means Just What I Choose It to Mean.”