Jean has a long mustache. There is a fire at the insurance agency. The rabbit is going down his hole. The door should be left open. Are the nonsensical sentences I’ve written above part of some strange grammar exercise? Are we going to diagram sentences? As much as I like diagramming….no, I won’t do that to you. Hmmm…..has Elementaryhistoryteacher finally lost it? Well, the answer to that question could morph into a huge debate, but no….for the most part I’m in complete control of my faculties…for now. The sentences I’ve listed above are what you might have heard if you were part of the French Resistance during World War II and you were listening to the BBC. What seemed to be nonsensical sentences were actually coded phrases that contained pre-arranged orders for the hundreds of French Resistance groups across France. Time and time again the nonsensical messages played a part in Allied victories across France. The people of France were alerted that the beginning of Operation Overlord, or the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944, would begin in 24 hours when the first stanza of Paul Verlaine’s poem…Chanson d’Automne or Autumn Song…was broadcast.
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