"I've always dreamed of being an old philosopher. So far I've achieved one out of two!"


Recursiveness is a most interesting and stimulating concept.

Something is recursive when it reflects itself or defines itself:

  • A video tape on how to produce a video tape.
  • A lecture on how to give lecture.
  • A newsletter about how to publish a newsletters.

Recursive things sometines are phrases that "go without saying," and are similar to oxymorons - such as:

  • Criminal Lawyer
  • Warning labels on smoking products.
  • Signs, in the state of Texas, required to be posted at the start of a construction zone that read "Obey signs. State Law."
  • Dynamite cases with label that says "Exploseives."
  • A bottle of acid that says "Handle with Care"

Recursive things "walk their talk." - for example:

  • This sentence no verb.
  • This sentence have exactly three errers in it.
  • This sentence ends with a period
  • This is. An incomplete. Sentence.

As you can see, it is easier to give examples of recursiveness than it is to define it.

Read on, enjoy, and please contribute!

More Recursive Things

Non-Recursive Things

The End of the Recursiveness Page

Examples of recursiveness

  • Written or drawn recursive words (e.g. mispeled, vooooweeeeel, rong, 5ive, 6ix, long-longer- longest)
  • The letters F I S H in the shape of a fish

More Recursive Things

  • Hyperlinks.
  • LOOP n. see LOOP
  • There are three types of people: those who know how to count, and those who don't.
  • The Judge said, "I trust your execution will teach you a valuable lesson for your future."
  • We're schizophrenic, and so are we.
  • A picture of a person, taking a picture of a person, taking a picture of the person taking a picture of a person . . .
  • A store named "Buy the Book" (on the TV show "Ellen")
  • A sign that says "Ignore this sign."
  • Snow on the first day of winter.
  • A box of "this side up" labels in a box with a "this side up" label.
  • A color photo of a rainbow.
  • A black and white photo of a zebra.
  • The electrocution of a person named Thomas Edison.
  • An Internet access provider called "Internet Access."
  • Hot hot-tamales.
  • Cold "ice" beer.
  • Your contribution to a page created from contributions from you.
  • Gerry Reid Speaking (Think about it - that is what I call my business because that is what I do! It is also the way I answer the phone.)

Non-Recursive Things

(Many times these are also oxymorons):

  • Nixon saying "I am not a crook."
  • Cold hot-tamales.
  • Warm "ice" beer.
  • An "Intel inside" label on the outside.
  • Reading this page and not contributing.

The End of the Recursiveness Page (almost)

  • This is the first sentence under Recursiveness.
  • The was the first sentence under Recursiveness until the previous sentence was added.
  • Instructions on how to use help.
  • An exit sign on an exit ramp.
  • A discussion on what to discuss.
  • Brown paper bags stored in a brown paper bag
  • A person taking a picture of a person taking a picture . . .
  • Taking a picture of yourself in the mirror.
  • Construction zone signs in Texas that say, "Obey Warning Signs. State Law."
  • Ths sntnc cntns n vwls.
  • I eeg oai o ooa.
  • Is this sentence being written, being transmitted or being read?
  • I am being written.
  • I am being read.
  • By the time you read this sentence will be finished.
  • By the time you read this sentence is finished.
  • Why does this sentence make you think of a red Corvette with wire wheels in a field of daisies, all at the same time?
  • This English sentence, when translated into French, is no longer an English sentence.
  • This is not the last sentence in this section.
  • Until this incomplete sentence.
  • This is the last sentence in this section.
  • No.
  • This.

The Real End of the Recursiveness Page (except for the footer, below)