Yesterday I was reading interviews with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and I came across what I think is the most tricky and yet correct and clear sentence by a rockstar in an interview that I have ever seen, containing about four levels of embedded clauses:
"When I look at people that I would like to feel have been a mentor or an inspiring kind of archetype of what I'd love to see my career eventually be mentioned as a footnote for in the same paragraph, it would be, like, Bowie."
And it's finished with a flourish of "like."
I emailed the linguist Mark Liberman at Language Log about it, and he promptly established "the Trent Reznor Prize for Tricky Embedding, to be awarded intermittently." As a sidenote, Mark also commented that "Reznor seems to be a bit confused about where footnotes go." But then, Trent didn't get where he is today by properly formatting term papers.
I also read an interview where Trent discusses his participation in Hurricane Katrina benefit concerts this past weekend, and it closes with the understatement of the week:
"I don't know that we're the ultimate feel-good, everything-is-going-to-be-OK band. But hey, we're doing what we can."
I wonder if they played Fistfuck.