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Questions tagged [ambiguity]

This tag is for questions about words or phrases that have multiple meanings and can thus be understood in different ways. If your question is about different words that can be easily mixed up or confused use the tag CONFUSABLES instead.

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0answers
20 views

Set a lower bound for ambiguous number phrase

Would this make sense, to say a number between 100 and 10,000?: 'Potentially hundreds of hundreds' More specifically, if I say 'potentially hundreds of hundreds', does this mean '(potentially ...
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0answers
49 views

Is this question ambiguous?

The following multiple-choice question was asked in an exam: Which one is the internal storage device that performs better than its predecessor with spinning disks inside? HDD SSD USB ...
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1answer
31 views

I scratched my head when I read the meaning of word impartial

I read something today, and that's the word impartial. Many days ago, in the same book I read the difference between uninterested and disinterested. The author stated in an example that a judge ...
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1answer
42 views

“I wake up dreaming” - possible meaning

I found an example in that particular structure which is: During a night-terror episode, the person will partially wake up screaming, moaning, or gasping for air. It is clear that it means the ...
3
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3answers
96 views

Does “shooting for effect” have contradictory meanings in different areas?

I only know one meaning for "shooting for effect". It's the sort of thing a SWAT team commander might say to indicate that no one is terribly interested in interrogating the subjects. Basically, it ...
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1answer
36 views

Is 'Another Europe is possible' correct English? [closed]

Given that we don't have a second Europe, I thought it should be something like 'A different Europe is possible'. Or does this sentence have the same meaning?
2
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2answers
131 views

What does “spokes” mean in this context?

As far as I know and have checked a few dictionaries and done some research, spoke is either a verb, past tense of speak, or a noun which has a few meanings such as the metal bars on a bicycle wheel; ...
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4answers
57 views

Best way to ask whether sales tax is included, not included or not applicable?

This happens seemingly every time I ask for a quote from a tradesperson: Trades: The cost of the project is £nnnn. Me: Is that with VAT included, not included or not applicable? ...
0
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0answers
16 views

meaning of 'should be' depending on the context

In the conclusion of the paper I read, I found the sentence like the below. "In sum, a more cost-efficient regulatory approach to Chinese PE can be expected, which should be an important part of a ...
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0answers
25 views

How to distinguish the meanings of the term “application”

As you know the term "application" has several definitions. The two definitions that are intended in this question, as the Cambridge dictionary puts it, are: (computer program) a computer ...
0
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1answer
28 views

what is the meaning of “Entrepreneurial entry”?

I'm translating a paper from English that is in the field of entrepreneurship. I came across the term "Entrepreneurial entry" in this paper and since there is no equivalent for this term in my ...
0
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0answers
23 views

meaning of these 2 sentences

The context is: “Planning, as alluded to earlier, came late to the adoption of formal reasoning. Its heritage lay in architecture and surveying, which were craft activities.” As I have no ...
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0answers
8 views

meaning of coverage in this sentence

this is a context about Jeff Bezos and his leadership styles at the Washington Post newspaper, the sentence is: "rather than controlling the editorial product at the Post, says editor Marty Baron, ...
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1answer
22 views

Is there a way to unambiguously say “out(side) of time”?

"Out of time" can mean a variety of things, but IMO the most common one and the one that will be understood if there's no context is "with no time left". unambiguously In can also be used in music ...
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0answers
16 views

What does it mean “and lies would cease to be effective” in the following sentence?

Kant offers telling the truth as an example of a perfect duty, because if lying were universalized then no one would ever expect anyone to be truthful, and lies would cease to be effective.
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1answer
23 views

Please explain the meaning of “appreciation” in the below sentence

Reactions to German Idealism, especially those of the neo-Kantians, logical positivists and Bertrand Russell, were also instrumental in the founding of analytic philosophy, which today reveals and ...
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1answer
64 views

What « Super User » mean in the StackEchange network? [closed]

I recently browsed into the Stack Exhange page and saw a Community called « Super User » and even after looking for a definition online I found the following: a consumer of electrical power. Which ...
0
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0answers
11 views

Is “should be” talking about the past or the present or the future? [migrated]

Not sure who’s working but this should be resolved. Does that should be resolved part mean (1) that it has already been resolved in the past, or (2) that he is expecting or needing it to be resolved ...
4
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1answer
98 views

When was “Chronic” first used as its own antonym?

The word "Chronic" means "long lasting", or "occurring over an extended period of time". A chronic illness one that you will have for a long time (if not for your entire life), or take a long time to ...
0
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1answer
49 views

“Do not do A, or do B”

A sentence from here: Do not accept any inputs that violate these rules, or convert the inputs to safe values. Does this sentence prohibit conversion? Or does it encourage to do? Note: I found ...
0
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1answer
66 views

Zeal vs. Zest. Am I Using them Correctly Here?

Hello beautiful people, I'm writing a poem and I want to make sure I'm using "zeal" and "zest" correctly. To give context, it's about a storyteller (being I) retelling a story of a man who is giving ...
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2answers
24 views

“Nor” following the positive sentence

I came across this sentence in one of W.B. yeats poems: Poet and sculptor do the work Nor let the modish painter shirk I have never seen the “nor” in this way. Does it mean “don’t let the ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Ambiguity of a phrase in the Java specification documentation

I have met the following text in the Java Specification Lines are terminated by the ASCII characters CR, or LF, or CR LF. The two characters CR immediately followed by LF are counted as one line ...
0
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1answer
36 views

Syntactical ambiguity in introductory phrase reference: reference to main verb vs. object

Motivated by A, we outline our proposal for B. Does "Motivated" refer to outline or proposal? It seems to me that a reader could infer one of two statements: A motivated us to create this outline, ...
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2answers
26 views

How to express an increase in percentage unambiguously?

So I have a metric, say, accuracy, which is originally 70% and then raised to 80%. I want to say the accuracy increases by 10%. But it is ambiguous, as some may interpret it as the current accuracy is ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Ambiguity with two possessive pronouns in a sentence

Is it clear who the first and second "their" refer to in the following sentence, or is the sentence likely to confuse the reader -- "It has been decided between the parties that party number 1 will ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Ask about right-angle

What do you mean when you say "An apartment doesn't have a single right angle"? Does it just mean this apartment doesn't have any 90-degree angle? Or it has another meaning? If this is the former, ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Perplexity of Whitman

In section 26 of "Song of Myself", Whitman wrote: I hear the train’d soprano (what work with hers is this?) The orchestra whirls me wider than Uranus flies, Who knows the meaning of the sentence ...
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1answer
77 views

Does flounder now mean founder?

The times in my life when I've floundered occurred when I was thrashing around, typically trying to stay afloat or get back to the surface I now hear that I also floundered when I failed - presumably ...
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votes
1answer
64 views

What is the meaning of the statement “Tigers and lions attack if they are hungry or threatened.”?

Does it mean: 1. If a tiger/lion is hungry or threatened, it certainly WILL attack. or does it mean: 2. A tiger/lion will attack ONLY if it is hungry or threatened (and never otherwise). I ...
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1answer
44 views

“National Forward published”

I'd like to know the meaning of "National Forward published". I have seen it in codes and regulation context, such as those found by this search, and couldn't understand it.
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0answers
14 views

What is the antecedent of “The x of y, which”

What is the antecedent of "which" in the following sentence? "The door of the car, which is discontinued, broke." Is the "the door of the car" discontinued, or is "the car" discontinued?
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1answer
32 views

What does “overcome” mean in this sentence?

I'm trying to understand the following bolded sentences. These have been copied from a legal document regarding the outcome of a patent application linked here. DECISION The sole outstanding ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Does “, which” Correspond to the Noun just before the Comma or to the Whole Sentence before the Comma?

Harvey drinks from a bottle, which looks funny. Is it enforced that "which" corresponds here to the bottle and not to the way in which Harvey drinks? Can ", which" be used to correspond to the full ...
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2answers
32 views

Meaning of “could” in a question. Implied condition

I have a question concerning the meaning of "could" in this sentence: "It could refer back to the subject, Jane, or it could refer to somebody else." As I understand this, there's an implied ...
1
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2answers
72 views

Ambiguous meaning of the sentence

There is the sentence: "Women have an ability to make men think they are in charge". I do not get who is in charge eventually? Women make men think that men in charge? or Women make men think that ...
11
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10answers
2k views

Understanding the purported ambiguity in “Every boy didn’t run”

I am a com­puter sci­ence pro­fes­sional. I am read­ing the book Nat­u­ral Lan­guage Un­der­stand­ing by James Allen where he writes: “Every boy didn’t run” which is am­bigu­ous be­tween the read­...
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1answer
39 views

“Meteorology” vs “Climatology” and meteor

I am having a naive uneasiness regarding these 3 words. The text ( TOEFL ( Test Of English For Foreign Language )) by native speakers says, Meteorology is the scientific study of weather condition....
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2answers
45 views

Does a ver­bal noun turn back into a verb when mod­ified by an ad­verb? [duplicate]

Here singing is a noun: I like singing. But what about here? I like singing loudly. Loudly is still an ad­verb, right? But singing is still be­hav­ing like a noun, right? So which is it, a noun ...
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2answers
58 views

Can the word “doing” be used in singular for activity without a goal? [closed]

I'm looking for a word, that describes activity without a specific goal. (Its opposite, activity with a goal, would be "project".) The best candidate for me is currently the word "doing". But I'm not ...
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2answers
69 views

Is ambiguous the same as incomplete? [closed]

I am aware that when something (a statement, sentence, etc.) is ambiguous it leads to uncertainty due to more than one interpretation; but does ambiguous imply incomplete? Put another way, can ...
0
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1answer
262 views

Difference between screen, display, monitor, and display monitor

As I am not a native speaker of English, I am not sure about the actual meaning and differences between the following words and a phrase: display monitor screen display monitor I want to know which ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Using the word “forge” in a positive context [closed]

I came up with a two-word business name where the first word is “forge”. I imagined a craftman making something of great power and value, which carried the feeling I wanted to invoke, but I forgot ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

How to adress personified concepts like “love” like they're people? (with no ambiguity)

There's a song lyric in a French song that goes like this: Je t'attends depuis longtemps, toi l'amour Which means, more or less: I've been waiting for you for a long time, love But there love ...
6
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3answers
829 views

“without” without object?

Below is an encrypt from John Lock's "An Essay on Human Understanding". I am not able to understand the meaning of "without" in this context. The problem is that it's object is not mentioned. I ...
0
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2answers
54 views

Convey 2 meanings in one sentence correctly [closed]

The sentence is "Tom was the first ever student from Jacksonville University to qualify for the prestigious math competition, while only being in his sophomore year" What i what to emphasise is that ...
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2answers
88 views

What is “remedy against the lusts of the flesh”? [closed]

I am struggling to understand the following sentence. “I tell them that if they will occupy themselves with the study of mathematics they will find in it the best remedy against the lusts of the ...
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1answer
61 views

“I love you more than your dad” [closed]

I love you more than your dad Does it mean: I love you more than your dad loves you [OR] I love you more than I love your dad Does this type of construction have a name in Linguistics?
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Digits (location/position) vs. digits (glyph/symbol/value) on a display?

This is about (numerical) displays, eg. a "multiple-digit" display such as a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven-segment_display (LED or LCD) and the difference between a digit as a single-glyph ...
1
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2answers
35 views

When labeling people in a picture, should I label them as they were or as they are at present?

Let's say I am labeling a picture of me, my wife and my stepson, but the picture is of an occasion before we got married. Is it misleading to label the picture: "me, my wife and my stepson" which is ...