History Main / AmbiguousSyntax

24th Jun '17 10:30:15 AM nombretomado
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TheOtherWiki lists more examples [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_linguistic_example_sentences here]]. This can more easily happen in English, where there is a lot more room for ambiguity due to lack of case marking and grammatical gender (languages with one of those usually require adjectives and nouns to agree on gender and case, so you know a feminine adjective couldn't refer to a masculine noun). It's also awfully common in Latin (ironically a language with case marking AND genders) due to the freer word order.

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TheOtherWiki Wiki/TheOtherWiki lists more examples [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_linguistic_example_sentences here]]. This can more easily happen in English, where there is a lot more room for ambiguity due to lack of case marking and grammatical gender (languages with one of those usually require adjectives and nouns to agree on gender and case, so you know a feminine adjective couldn't refer to a masculine noun). It's also awfully common in Latin (ironically a language with case marking AND genders) due to the freer word order.
22nd Jun '17 7:46:57 PM TheGreatUnknown
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** An entire scene in ''[[Literature/ThursdayNext The Well of Lost Plots]]'' is built on this, when Thursday meets a man with a hat named Wilbur (or something like that.) The man is apparently cursed with bad syntax, and is constantly apologizing for it.

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** An entire scene in ''[[Literature/ThursdayNext The Well of Lost Plots]]'' is built on this, when Thursday meets a man with a hat named Wilbur (or something like that.) that). The man is apparently cursed with bad syntax, and is constantly apologizing for it.
12th Jun '17 7:10:31 AM Julia1984
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* In the 1941 film ''[[Franchise/{{Tarzan}} Tarzan's Secret Treasure]]'' (fifth in the MGM film series starring Creator/JohnnyWeissmuller), after Jane describes what courtship is like back where she came from, Tarzan replies, [[HulkSpeak "Too much talk. Tarzan way better."]] Does he mean "Tarzan's way is better" or "Tarzan is way better than other men"? Both are probably equally true, in Jane's opinion.
11th Jun '17 12:10:57 AM Killerweinerdog
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--> "The police came tae ma door and told me my dugs[[Labelnote:*]]dogs[[/note]] were chasing people on bikes my dugs don't even have bikes"

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--> "The police came tae ma door and told me my dugs[[Labelnote:*]]dogs[[/note]] dugs[[labelnote:note]]dogs[[/labelnote]] were chasing people on bikes my dugs don't even have bikes"
11th Jun '17 12:08:36 AM Killerweinerdog
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* A popular gem from Scottish Twitter:
--> "The police came tae ma door and told me my dugs[[Labelnote:*]]dogs[[/note]] were chasing people on bikes my dugs don't even have bikes"
1st Jun '17 8:32:49 AM dmcreif
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-->'''"Stephano"''': Don't you miss the vivid imagination of childhood?

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**Count Olaf, in disguise as "Stephano," vs. Mr. Poe. This happens when the Baudelaires try to warn Mr. Poe:
-->'''"Stephano"''': Who am I? What am I doing? Don't you miss the vivid imagination of childhood?


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**Later, when Count Olaf first interacts with Aunt Josephine in his "Captain Sham" disguise:
-->'''"Captain Sham":''' I've been fitted with a wooden prosthetic.
-->'''Aunt Josephine:''' How did it happen?
-->'''"Captain Sham":''' Uh, we used half of an old broom.
-->'''Aunt Josephine:''' No, I mean "the accident".
29th May '17 4:32:20 PM JMQwilleran
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* ''Film/SilenceOfTheLambs'' - Hannibal Lecter tells Clarice at the end of the film over the phone that he'd love to chat with her longer, but he's having an old friend for dinner.
18th May '17 11:22:57 PM TheCuza
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* Done for narrative purposes in the ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' expansion ''Dead Money''. The epilogue for the companion characters, should they live, mentions the Courier and another, who "fought under an Old World banner at the edge of the world". This foreshadows ''Lonesome Road'', and it can mean either of two alternatives: [[spoiler:that they fought ''each other'', or that they ''both'' fought, together.]]

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* Done for narrative purposes in the ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' expansion ''Dead Money''. The epilogue for the companion characters, should they live, mentions the Courier and another, who "fought under an Old World banner at the edge of the world". This foreshadows ''Lonesome Road'', and it can mean either of two alternatives: [[spoiler:that they fought ''each other'', or that they applies to ''both'' fought, together.]]possible outcomes: either you and Ulysses fight ''[[BonusBoss each other]]'', or you [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talk him to death]] and the two of you fight ''[[BackToBackBadasses together]]'' against [[KaizoTrap the horde of enemies he had set up to attack you just in case you won your fight with him]].
12th May '17 9:18:10 AM JMQwilleran
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* From ''Series/TheAmazingRace 29''
-->'''Matt''': Only a couple of weeks ago I-I met this guy with a carbon-fiber leg named Redmond.
-->'''Redmond''': What was the name of the other leg?
-->'''Matt''': First place.
9th May '17 8:06:05 AM jazzyamx
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Another popular comedic variant is "You see this object here? When I nod my head, hit it as hard as you can."

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Another popular comedic variant is "You see this object here? When I nod my head, [[AmusingInjuries hit it as hard as you can.can]]."
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