Is it ever correct to use the word that (or any other word) three consecutive times? For example,

By reading Nietzsche I learned that that that does not kill me makes me stronger.

  • 4
    That "that that that" that that sentence has seems grammatically correct, albeit a bit confusing. – J.R. Nov 16 '12 at 0:37
  • Let's not forget that that other "that that" question that is a near duplicate of this question gave us this gem: Don't forget that that "that" that appears before the other "that" does a different job. – Zairja Nov 16 '12 at 0:52
  • Lots of words can be used three consecutive times (or more). See buffalo. I voted to close as "Not Constructive". And for completeness. – Zairja Nov 16 '12 at 0:53
  • Then there's this question, which asked about vice, vice vice. – J.R. Nov 20 '12 at 15:36

Your example sentence is correct, but I would rewrite it to avoid difficulty in reading and parsing. For example,

By reading Nietzsche, I learned that what does not kill me makes me stronger.

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  • 2
    Well put. Just because something is technically correct doesn't mean its a good idea. – T.E.D. Nov 16 '12 at 0:36
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    "Wouldn't the sentence 'I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign' have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?" – Zairja Nov 16 '12 at 0:58

Plus one for Will's answer, well put. It is technically correct to use a single word many times, but can be extremely difficult to understand. The canonical example of this, I submit for your consideration, and amusement:


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