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Is there a word describing a sentence whose meaning is changed by moving the punctuation? For example,

Let’s eat, Mommy!

and

Let’s eat Mommy!

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If you'll notice, when you close your eyes, you can still hear the difference. It's a difference in pronunciation, not punctuation. Punctuation is just a brain-damaged part of Modern English spelling, which -- as you may have noticed -- doesn't represent Modern English very well. –  John Lawler Jan 9 '13 at 1:51
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@John, yes, but, alas, nowadays teenagers don't realize how it is dangerous to practice punctuation in language usage. –  user19148 Jan 9 '13 at 2:02
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@Carlo_R.: To borrow and adapt a slogan from the NRA, "Punctuation doesn't kill language - bad writers do!". –  FumbleFingers Jan 9 '13 at 2:17
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I don't know the technical name for this phenomenon, but I've heard the phenomenon alluded to as "eats shoots and leaves", which is the title of a book that addresses this topic. Also related: this classic ELU answer. –  J.R. Jan 9 '13 at 2:21
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Now that jlovegren has introduced the term "syntactic (or structural) ambiguity", a one-word term for adding the comma (in this case in which the first version is macabre) does suggest itself: clarification. The only times when this kind of structural ambiguity is a problem for the spoken language are when the speaker is carefully pronouncing each word without regard to its function and the required stress and intonation pattern for the sentence, and when a poor text-to-speech reader is rendering text into improperly stressed and intoned mechanical speech. –  user21497 Jan 9 '13 at 2:46
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1 Answer

According to the Wikipedia page for Eats, Shoots & Leaves, such ambiguous constructions are examples of amphiboly or amphibology (which come from the Greek word for ambiguity).

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