One Sill A Bull: A Word Game

Thanks to CharNewcomb for the use of this photo @WANA Commons

Y’all know I love playing around with words, right?


I found this old writing prompt that I used to use when I was teaching English as a second language to 3rd graders.

It sounds easy, but it’s not as easy as you think.

Write the longest sentence you can in which each word is only one syllable.

For example:

He put his hand on his belt and said, “The lush, green berm on the side of the road would be a good place to take a leak — if I have to go real bad.”

See how long you can go.

If you know what I mean.

The person who goes the longest and creates something that is stunningly beautiful or hilariously funny is gonna get a special sumthin-sumthin from me. Go! I will accept comments until the end of the day, at which time I will start counting words.

tweet me @rasjacobson

Entrants may not use one single word repeatedly. Now that we have caught THAT little loophole, folks may continue. Thank you for making me laugh, Susie Lindau.

The winner of the contest is on thehomefrontandbeyond.Holy mad skills! Send me your snail mail address, and your sumthin-sumthin will be put in the mail immediately!

54 thoughts on “One Sill A Bull: A Word Game

    1. Aw, dang it Chrystal. Ten points for finding my error, now corrected. Apparently, I’m ready for the new year. But, oh, I see in the manual minus fifteen points for not leaving an entry. What are you doing? You have time to make up these lost points, however. Just send me a giant case of Canada Dry Ginger Ale. (It’s not too sweet.) 😉

  1. I think I just got performance anxiety. Suddenly all my sentences are made up of giant, flowy words when I usually think in tiny, one-syllable phrases all day long.

  2. She put her warm hand on my arm, gave me a smile and said, “One fine day, I would like to walk to a wide field, lay down on the cold ground, smell the grass, feel the wind in my hair and dream I am a bird that can fly up in the sky to be one with the stars, the moon and God.”

    (okay, that was hard and my sentence is waaaay too run-on and wordy!)

  3. Oooh, tough one!  But so much fun….

    I do not know if I can come up with a thing for this tough task, but I will give it some thought and then try to get back to you with my phrase as soon as I can, my dear friend. 🙂

  4. She did not care that I had spent my whole check on the ring, since she was used to gifts that cost a lot more from Steve – the last guy who fell for her as hard as I had, or Glen, the one who bought her a car that she wrecked the day she put a huge dent in the back of Steve’s car, as she read a text on her phone.

  5. Does “smile” count as a one syllable word? I thought it was two! I guess it depends on how southern you are when you pronounce it. Not that I’m trying to be a party pooper, but it is daunting to try to enter a contest when the first entrant already has a sixty-four-word-long sentence! 😉

  6. With no rules, I would guess that you could make some long, long, long, long, long, long, long line of words strung for miles on the page just to fill the space so that we can win first place and win the big first prize which I am sure will be huge and fun and a thing that I for one would love and want to use or gaze at or put on my desk for a while or put in my purse or car or wear or play with or eat or pull in a cart or ski with or put in my hair or read or laugh at and would make me smile and think of how great it was to win.

  7. When my son was born, I held him in my arms and wept with joy as I saw for the first time my own dad’s huge brown eyes so full of dreams, hope, love and joy while I could also see in its depths the things that would come at some point like pain, grief and all the bad things I knew had to be, for I could not shield this strong boy born in the sun of my mind from the truths of life that greet us all as we leap in the air with our eyes wide shut in a life that some say God gave us, but which on that day I felt like I gave to my son since he lay in my womb for all the days of his life to date, one with me for more than 9 months as I took in what I could give him, and as he sought what he knew he had to have if he were to to thrive and live in this great big world though he would not have to see the bad things for a long time since I would hold him in my arms as long as he would let me.

    Ok – this is not the longest sentence, but it’s just one I did now. I feel like it’s more fun if it’s spontaneous so that’s how I will play this thing.


  8. I want to try this word game but am not sure I can do it since I have read the others that are done and feel too weak to write more than they have; I will try to keep on with this ‘til I have more words than they, but I am not strong in this field, as math is more my thing, and I can use one, two, three, four, five, six words – or eight or nine or ten, but not more. I know I have lost – too bad.

    1. Hahahahaha! A valiant effort! You know, for a math girl. I am writing a math blog set for next Wednesday: 12/12/12. It took me forever to figure out the next time we will have repeating digits. (Eight-eight years in case you are wondering.) But you probably figured that out while you were reading this sentence. Me? It took an hour and a calculator. And then I Googled it to be sure.

  9. Well, I had been all set to watch Sue the cat play Bill the dog in a game of catch, when all at once the room goes dark, so I have lit a match and gone down the hall to my room for a – wait, what is that noise I hear up there on the roof or is that just a trick of the ears or in my own mind and…ouch, there goes the flame from my match, boy that burns, but no time to think of my singed flesh since that sound I heard has moved to the wall – no, it is right in the house with me and it takes all my brain and heart to still walk on, but I will try and so I go back to Sue and Bill, and of course they did not wait, but took up a new game, not catch this time, but with a rat, whose name is Doug, and who chose to come by way of the roof and through the wall to steal my seat, but that is quite fine by me, since I do not know how to play Pinochle.

    It may not qualify, but there it is just for fun!

      1. That’s just my sense of humor, lol! I thought it was hilarious to go so far and then have the last (194th) word be three syllables. I don’t need to win, but that’s really super nice of you guys!

  10. How about a gift for the shortest sentence? This sentence is both a compliment to you for this great post and a winner in the sentence category.


    1. Yes, your words were short so I can not say too much, and yet I love you so much it is hard not to give you a small hug or, if you would like, a trip to see me bathe in my nice, white tub which shines like bright thread.

      Wow, I am not very good at this, am I? 😉

  11. Here goes: I hate Eng teach cause they make me work so damned hard all the time just to make a word they like while I could pee on the green hot old flat side of the road and laugh while I pee and make up a run on phrase and like a Yale law guy while he takes his test for the rest of us so we can sue a school some day cause I can not write in Eng so I hired a law school grad to do it for me and I pay her food.

    I hope you enjoyed my life story.

    1. Jay Holmes is the best chef in the world so I work with him tho he’s a mean old spook who makes me type all the time and won’t let me have a day off but that’s the price I pay for pork chops with fruit sauce and fresh soup, not to say that’s his sole great trait as he makes me laugh a lot, too.

  12. The grace of G-d filled her from her toes and feet up her legs and through her trunk, down her arms and through her hands, past her neck and up to her head – as if by force the joy and peace of He that is All was shown in all the moves she made and all the things she did, there was no way that she could hide the gift of love and light that G-d gave clear of price or pain.

  13. The day will start and end with the sun which will rise in the east and go down in the west and then it will do the same thing the next day and this will not end as that is the way it goes and we will live by that and die by that with the wise words of God which will tell us when it is time to go to that place that we dream of and not the place we do not dream of where it is hot not cold and no one sings or prays and the sun does not shine, and there is great pain and burns not from the sun; it is the high place we want to go to, where we sing and pray and praise, and start each day with joy and look down on those we love and are left to make their own joys as they live their lives out to some day watch the sun rise and the sun fall, the moon wane, and the moon shine, the sky turn blue, and the sky turn black, the stars shine, and light the way of those who walk at night not with fear but with the help of those who watch out for them as they go on their way to work, to play, to laugh, to cry, to ski, to drive, to swim, to skate, to play the drums, to play the horn, to weep when they can not bear any more fear or woe, they will rise up and say thanks to those who came to help them: those whose souls do not walk the earth now but fly in the face of the one who knows all and sees all.

  14. Aw hell…can’t pass this up:

    The day draw close now – the one which fills my mind with thoughts of you and the way we were, way back when Mom’s hair was not blond but a light brown bob with no streaks of gray and Dad’s was black like night not white like snow and all we had to do was show up and we would get their love and their smiles and we would fight and love each other like mad, even though the world said we never would as we don’t share the same blood – which is dumb don’t you think, as you were born for me and I for you and no one would say that we did not love well for how could we not with a Mum and a Dad like ours, who thought the sun and the moon rose and set with our smiles, even now, when the sun has gone down on yours and my heart aches with all that I miss, as your sis.

    1. Oh Liz. That actually got me all choked up. I feel like this exercise created the most amazing first sentences for people’s short stories. Or novels. Or blog posts. It’s a cool prompt. Thanks for opening your heart the way you do.

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