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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
29 views

“If you really need to do so, change it back as soon as possible”

The default value of X is "Off" and it's generally discouraged to change it. If you really need to do so, change it back as soon as possible. to do so refers to the act of changing the ...
-1
votes
2answers
138 views

What does the fourth number refer to here? [closed]

John locked his bike with a 4-digit combination lock several months ago, and he cannot recall the correct combination. Each digit is one of the numbers 0, 1, 2, ..., 9. John only knows that each of ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

What does “humble” imply here?

Corn dog is the most humble street food.
0
votes
2answers
104 views

How to clarify what you mean by “Standard Time” in relation to time zones?

It seems like the term "Standard Time" in the context of describing a time zone is ambiguous. For example "Pacific Standard Time" could either mean: As distinct from "...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

What does “Can I help you?” really mean?

I am a non-native English speaker. Whenever I travel to the States and I sometimes hear the question, "Can I help you?" At first, I thought it was a sincere eagerness to help me. However, ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

In trouble understanding contexts from Pride And Prejudice [closed]

Elizabeth could safely say that it was a great happiness where that was the case, and with equal sincerity could add, that she firmly believed and rejoiced in his domestic comforts. She was not sorry, ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Is this sentence ambiguous? (“it is not” followed by -ing)

English is not my first language. I found the following sentence: It is not having fear that is the problem. Am I right thinking that it is ambiguous? I can think of the following different meanings:...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Again on “Either”… does it mean “both”? [duplicate]

I'm aware that the meaning of either can be: Any of two options Both the options It depends from the context ... This is the context, an official rule from the UK government: When you arrive at the ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Ambiguous joke?

I want to refer to "a nice lawyer joke", where the joke is nice, not the lawyer. How can I do that unambiguously? Is it best to rephrase to something like "a nice joke about lawyers&...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Can I mix up plural with singular to resolve pronoun ambiguity?

I have here a sentence with an ambiguous antecedent. Computers have larger screens than smartphones, the reason why they are still necessary. The pronoun "they" can refer back to "...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

How can I construct phrases only to work with one of Given, When, or Then?

I think the following is a problem which falls firmly between two stools, so please forgive me if this is the wrong place, but I think it's more of a linguistic question than a computer question. ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

In some dictionaries paradigmatic is more closely related to standard than to conventional,why? [closed]

I am confused why some dictionaries show conventional and standard both as a synonym to paradigmatic while most only show standard as a synonym. Does standard and conventional means something ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Have I not understood what “several” means?

This figure can be derived by assuming that out of the 42 million bitcoin wallet addresses on the blockchain, several are no longer in use and that many users occupy several wallets. Emphasis mine. ...
1
vote
2answers
86 views

'be sick' : defective verb [closed]

George is being sick means 'George is bringing up food from his stomach'; George is sick means 'George is ill'. However, George was sick can mean either George brought up food from his stomach or ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

About the words “anything but”

I am unsure about the possible meaning(s) of this phrase. Does a sentence like "She did anything but sleep" mean something like she is a very dilligent or very lazy person depending on ...
-1
votes
1answer
240 views

Is ill-qualified even a term?

I know the words unqualified, disqualified. But is the term 'ill-qualified' right grammatically? In some articles I have seen that they used it to say people who are not competent enough and in some ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Can you please explain the significance of “problems” at the end of the sentence?

I wrote a mail asking for some job to be done at the earliest. I was replied with "I'll do it this afternoon, problems." I don't understand the meaning of that extra "problems" at ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

What is upward entailment or monotonicity increasing in english?

Is this how it works? (1) a. All [workers ↓] [joined for a French dinner ↑] (1) b. All workers joined for a dinner A context is upward entailing (shown by [... ↑]) that allows an inference from (1a) ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

What is the difference between “all butter” vs “butter”?

Japan had a lower consumption of butter compared with Russia. Japan had a lower consumption of all butter compared with Russia. Do the two sentences above mean the same? please explain Japan had a ...
1
vote
1answer
492 views

Ambiguity in the sentence “In case of fire, do not use elevator.”

The aforementioned sentence arises in an assignment of the course Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, where the notion of literary ambiguity is made explicit in our everyday use of language. ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

as strong and fast as you might be, a wise ninja knows his greatest strength comes from the people who care for them

I was wondering "as... as you might be" refers to "even though you think you are strong. And if I change "as strong as you might be" to " to "as strong as you can be&...
0
votes
1answer
15 views

contextual meaning of “dynamics”

In the following sentence, what is contextual meaning of "dynamics"? The sharing economy has sadly proven that the pathologies of the physical world all too often carry over to the platform,...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Ambiguous prepositional phrase in a legal document

In common speech or writing, disambiguation of objects of prepositional phrases can be inferred from context. However, there is no room for error in filling out legal documents! I came across this ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Only one vs. One and only one

Suppose that someone proposes "only Jenny can eat this cookie". Is this proposition saying that Jenny can indeed eat this cookie and no one else can? (1) Or is this proposition actually ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Meaning and Usage of “comma” and “claimed”

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the State Commission shall have jurisdiction— (a) to entertain— (i) complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Ambiguity in “translated” as an adjective?

Suppose I have a German document that has been translated to produce an English document. It seems that there are two sensible ways to interpret the following request: "Give me the translated ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Meaning of ‘following’ in the extract [closed]

Could anyone please clarify the meaning of ‘following‘ in the extract below. For me, it refers to not the Wednesday immediately after the Tuesday but rather the Wednesday of the next week - ‘the ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Scratch my last email? [closed]

What does it mean if someone said "scratch my last email"?
4
votes
5answers
416 views

Kiss me for 100 dollars? [closed]

I am baffled by the usage of "for" in the following sentence: A girl asks a guy "Would you kiss me for 100 dollars?" Does she mean: A: You kiss me and you get 100 dollars or B: ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

a word that describes this phenomenon : 'the constituents are attributed a term, but the usage of the term does not imply the constituents'

Here's a puzzle : I'm looking for a word (or a phrase) that describes the case where the components belong to a term, but the term does not essentially map back to the components. I think it has ...
1
vote
1answer
246 views

What does 'worn smooth' mean?

I am reading an article on this link, and in one part, it says 'patterns of thought and movement worn smooth with use'. I searched, and couldn't find a definition for 'wearing smooth'. Does it mean '...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

“Do my best for something to happen” is grammatically correct?

“I did my best for them to add (something) in the list” is that a grammatically correct way to convey the intended meaning, which is (I convinced them) to add that thing to the list?
0
votes
0answers
60 views

This sentence seems too ambiguous to me. I don't get the meaning

"But in the harsh light of hindsight it's uncomfortable how often the writers' stabs at bitter-little-pill realism - a sort of kitchen-sink Tolkien - tip over into edgy nihilism for nihilsm's ...
1
vote
8answers
305 views

Meaning of sentence “People you are social distancing with”

We have a text for kids with a box for a drawing that reads "People you are social distancing with", we have been thinking about the meaning of the sentence and we're not sure about the ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

What's the meaning of bold sentences? I have difficulty in getting the meaning of thesese sentences, especially the second bold sentence

He went off to work and it was just one mad panic. I knew, if I didn’t go that night, I wouldn’t do it, I just wouldn’t do it. And so, technically, yes, it was planned and I had support and back-up ...
3
votes
4answers
305 views

The difference between 'watershed' and 'landmark' [closed]

Can someone explain to me the difference in the usage of such words as 'watershed' and 'landmark'? I know they both also mean 'a turning point in life'. But is there a difference in their connotations?...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

what's the meaning of “entwining” in this sentence? [closed]

The entwining of advocacy for services combined with the high levels of emotional support required for women to embark on the difficult pathway to recovery is changing – and not always for the best.
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Is there a wordplay on “bear-skin” in this sentence?

I have some trouble understanding the part in bold in the following passage from Daniel Defoe's Anatomy of Exchange-Alley, I would be unable to rephrase it. In a Word, having accepted them for ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

Does the part of the sentence that comes after “support”- to enable then … - refers to “support” or it refers to the whole sentence?

This chapter also discusses the role of the refuge workers, the approach they took to their work and their needs for support to enable then to work effectively with women in a stressed and pressurized ...
-2
votes
1answer
52 views

Does English have a way to distinguish between a 12-hour “day” a 24-hour “day”?

I've always found this highly frustrating; to not be able to unambiguously refer to a "full" "day" (24 hours) and a "day" which is also a "half full day" (12 hours). There is a lot of difference ...
-1
votes
1answer
24 views

no more… than / never any more… than

What are the meanings of these two sentences? Sex is no more boring than work is. There was never any more maturity than there is now. Cambridge Dictionary notes: We use no more … than or not any ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What meaning 'vanish' in math [closed]

I am an Italian engineering student and I am studying Differential Geometry from "Analysis on manifolds" by Jams R. Munkres and I'd like to discuss the meaning of the verb "to vanish" in the following ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

What's the meaning of “very much there” in this context?

Let them hear once again the strength, courage, and capabilities you see in them, often below the surface, but very much there. I think "very much there" means being close to the surface.
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How to determine what a pronoun is referring to

Does the second "woman" in this sentence refer to a female supervisor? One woman, who had been working under an extremely verbally abusive supervisor, confronted the woman and was abruptly fired ...
0
votes
0answers
252 views

Content clause : Wh-interrogative clause & Nominal relative clause

Wh-interrogative clauses and nominal relative clauses are two types of content clauses. Both of them are introduced by a wh-element & they look so similar that it's often difficult to distinguish ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

The uses of word information before 1948

The concept of information is very useful today, however it is used in different ways: number of symbols in a sequence, less description of a sequence, a sequence that is useful for an agent, and much ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

What does an engineering manager do?

According to wikipedia Engineering Management: Engineering management is the application of the practice of management to the practice of engineering. An engineering manager is a manager who manages ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Are both these sentences grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I have recently found the following. I do know the first sentence is wrong. (1) "I am not a fan of him." Meaning : I am not his fan. (2) I am not a fan of his. Meaning : I am not one of his ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Meaning of 'staging' in 'the Qur'an's staging, penetrating and eclipsing of Biblical tradition'

What's the meaning of the word staging in the following context? "The Qurʾān’s Staging, Penetrating and Eclipsing of Biblical Tradition" It's the address of a study conducted by Angelika Neuwirth.
0
votes
0answers
28 views

What does “topics which assume detailed knowledge of local events” mean here?

Does it mean topics in which if you want to participate you need detailed knowledge of local events? It’s a example given by Oxford dictionary and it doesn’t give the full sentence.But, if it’s ...

1
2
3 4 5
21