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A well-known feature of the English language is that you can use nouns as adjectives: football player, relativity theory, car tyre, army chaplain, house keys, etc. etc. However, some nouns already have adjectival meanings, and if one isn't careful this can lead to unintended ambiguity. I'm looking for the best example of this phenomenon that I can get my hands on. To give you an idea of the kind of thing I mean, the best example I've thought of so far is, "I spoke to the fair organizer", which one would be well-advised to rewrite as, "I spoke to the organizer of the fair." John Baez came up with "Latin lover", which I like. But can anyone do better?

Edit: I've decided that perhaps I can sharpen this question up after all. Every example I have come across so far is slightly unsatisfactory for one reason or another. What I'd ideally like is an example that people could imagine accidentally writing and wishing they hadn't. So here are some reasons that certain examples fall short of that ideal. "Light switch" isn't a good example because the intended meaning is so obvious that the unintended meaning (switch that isn't heavy) doesn't register. "Fair organizer" is OK but slightly forced and therefore not something I'd genuinely imagine writing. "Latin lovers" is nice but a bit jokey. Is there an example that doesn't have any of these defects (which are admittedly not too serious in all cases but I want to be fussy)? That is, is there some really rather boring sentence that sounds natural and that has one of these unwitting noun/adjective ambiguities? (NB I'm not looking for just any old ambiguity. The ambiguity should be between the noun as turned into an adjective and a different adjectival meaning of that noun.)

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closed as not constructive by simchona, Jasper Loy, Barrie England, jwpat7, RiMMER Dec 3 '11 at 20:08

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How are you going to determine best? –  simchona Dec 3 '11 at 17:50
You're talking about crash blossoms and you can check my link or Google the term for examples. –  Robusto Dec 3 '11 at 18:27
With respect, (i) obviously I don't mean best in some precise sense -- I'd just like some nice examples from which I'll choose the one I like most, (ii) I don't understand what it would mean for this question to be "constructive" and (iii) I'm asking for something more specific than just any old crash blossoms. –  user15553 Dec 3 '11 at 19:10
Welcome to EL&U. On Stack Exchange sites like this one, our users tend to close as "not constructive" when, for example, a question has no obvious way to tell if one answer is better than another and it may generate a long list of answers based only on answerers' opinions. It's still possible to edit your question while it's closed, and users can then vote to reopen it. Perhaps asking for research that has been done on the topic (rather than individual examples) or asking if there is a name for this phenomenon more specific than crash blossoms would make for a suitable question. :) –  aedia λ Dec 3 '11 at 21:03
I'm used to Mathoverflow, where asking for examples of a phenomenon is considered legitimate (if the phenomenon is sufficiently interesting). There's even a category called "big list". But the culture here is clearly somewhat different. I did in fact have a reason for wanting a good example, but if this isn't the place to ask, then so be it. –  user15553 Dec 5 '11 at 21:12

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