Bruce A. Martin
About 335 words

Unusual Paragraphs

This is a normal paragraph; there is nothing unusual about it. Each of the following paragraphs is abnormal, because it is missing something that this paragraph has. Each one is missing something different, and each one contains the thing that each of the other four lacks. Can you figure out what it is?

  1. This one is different from the following four, since it comes first. The missing component, here, is something that is present in the others below it. Everything missing below is present here. Do you know the solution, yet? If not, keep looking.

  2. This paragraph is most unusual, too. It looks normal, but a common thing that is found in most writing is lacking in this particular paragraph. And a thing that is missing from this paragraph is promptly found in all four accompanying paragraphs, just by looking for it. What is it?

  3. Next, we have a paragraph that lacks yet another feature. Nowhere does that feature appear here, yet every other paragraph has more than one of them. Also, whatever each of the other four paragraphs totally lacks, may be found here rather frequently. Do you have a clue, yet?

  4. Give up, yet? Perhaps this paragraph will help. It has everything that is missing in the remaining paragraphs, and what this paragraph is lacking is easily detected in all the rest. Try harder. It's really quite simple when the secret is revealed. Maybe the last paragraph will reveal the secret.

  5. This final paragraph has everything that was missing in the preceding ones. Here is a hint: this paragraph is not nearly as odd as the ones above. The thing that is entirely lacking here is often missing in other paragraphs and sentences. Nevertheless, there is not a single one of them here, yet they do appear in each the other paragraphs in this set of five. Moreover, the five different missing elements, in order, form a very familiar series well known to schoolchildren. (That's a hint, too.) By now, the answer may be apparent; maybe not.

© 2000, Bruce A. Martin
P.O.Box 456, Middle Island, NY 11953