Questions tagged [attachment-ambiguity]

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30
votes
6answers
6k views

Does “I am eating vegan cheese in my underpants” really imply that the vegan cheese is inside my underpants?

I am having a debate with someone about possible interpretations of a sentence and we have come to a stalemate. The sentence is as follows: "I'm at home eating vegan cheese in my underpants and ...
23
votes
11answers
88k views

How can you lift an elephant with one hand?

Here is a question I've encountered: How can you lift an elephant with one hand? The answer provided is: It is not a problem, since you will never find an elephant with one hand. Now, if I ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the name of the ambiguity in the phrase “I want to visit clubs with attractive women”?

I want to visit clubs with attractive women. This phrase can be interpreted in two ways: I want to visit clubs myself, but the clubs I visit should have attractive women. I want to take ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

What is funny in this paraprosdokian?

I was reading the wiki page about paraprosdokians when I come across this sentence. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my pajamas, I don't know. What is funny about it?
4
votes
2answers
294 views

Is “Betty learned that Albert telephoned after Isaiah visited” ambiguous?

Betty learned that Albert telephoned after Isaiah visited. Can anybody explain whether "after Isaiah visited" tell us: (1) when Betty learned something about Albert or (2) when Albert ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

What is a relative pronoun's referent when it follows a prepositional phrase?

For example: Stella Adler trained several generations of actors who include Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. Does who in this example refer to actors or generations? Stella Adler trained several ...
2
votes
2answers
515 views

Is there a name for this ambiguity problem or for the construction that solves it?

I read a sentence, John has published research in academic journals of philosophy and law. The author meant John has published research in academic journals of philosophy and in academic journals ...
2
votes
1answer
728 views

Position of adverbial phrase [duplicate]

Is there a difference in these two sentences, and if so, what is the difference? Immediately afterwards I remembered having met her. I remembered having met her immediately afterwards. I think there ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Who is lost in thought in “I had no glimmer of what was in his mind, nor did he enlighten me, but sat lost in thought…”? [closed]

I'd like someone to clear up the sentence that seems ambiguous to me. It's from "The problem of the Thor Bridge" by Conan Doyle. I had no glimmer of what was in his mind, nor did he enlighten me, ...
1
vote
4answers
482 views

Grammaticality of “The victim was found by a passer-by with stab wounds”

I just heard a radio news report on a murder: "The victim was found by a passer-by with stab wounds". Surely this should read: "The victim, with stab wounds, was found by a passer-by"?
1
vote
2answers
130 views

Can my teachers be trainers or would I be taught by my shoes? [closed]

I am working in an educational organisation and we often co-operate with other institutions from other European countries, e.g. in EU-wide projects. Very often we have to write applications for ...
1
vote
2answers
308 views

Relative pronoun, the use of comma, and subject verb agreement

Ex. There are many interesting stories attached to the drink, which exclusively belong to the brand only. Is above sentence correct? Or it should be Ex. There are many interesting stories attached ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

“a group of dancers who perform…” or “a group of dancers who performs…”?

The poet represents the daffodils as a group of dancers who (perform) a beautiful dance. Is it correct to write (perform) or I should write (performs).
1
vote
1answer
40 views

How to remove attachment ambiguity?

I have the following sentence in my technical manual about naming files: Punctuation marks other than hyphens, spaces around punctuation marks that are replaced by underscores, and spaces between ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Misplaced Modifier

He kept a black book of all the girls he had dated in the past in his desk. Is "in his desk" a misplaced modifier, or is the sentence grammatically correct? Kindly elaborate.
1
vote
1answer
63 views

How to interpret the use of adverbs with conjugate clauses?

I wanted to clarify how an adverb (usually preceding) affects the clauses connected by a conjunction. Consider the dictionary meaning of the word oblique. The New Oxford Dictionary of American ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Five students visit three farmers in their village. their? [closed]

Five students visit three farmers in their village. Here, What do "their" refer to - students? or farmers?? and Why? and Why not?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Does an adjective before “or” apply to the noun that comes after “or”? [duplicate]

Have you come across any frilly dresses or blouses? Does this mean [frilly dresses or frilly blouses], or does it mean [frilly dresses or blouses]? I want to know whether an adjective so placed only ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Does “almost the first ten” mean “almost first” or “almost ten”?

If someone is talking "almost the first ten minutes" of something, should that be interpreted as being: ten minutes, almost at the beginning, or almost ten minutes, necessarily starting at the ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Paradoxical participle [duplicate]

“I met a friend walking down the street.” Does it mean I was walking, or that my friend was walking, or both are possible?
0
votes
1answer
197 views

Word being modified by whose

I came across the following sentence: Kiran is Kishore's uncle, whose paternal grandfather has only two children. I am not clear which person whose is referring to - Kiran or Kishore and why?
0
votes
0answers
52 views

“in that way” - Which of the following three sentences is more correct to convey the desired meaning?

I'm not asking for a proof reading. And to further clarify, the Context is there to only provide context. I ask you to please ignore any perceived mistakes in the Context (located underneath the ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Is this sentence from Andrew Carnegie ambiguous? [duplicate]

This is Carnegie's defense of competition: It is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. What is the function of the prepositional phrase "in every ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

How to use “or” and the adverb “as”?

The preface of the book, Physics and Music (Dover Publications), states: Almost everyone enjoys music, whether as a performer or as a listener. I was wondering if such a repetition of as is ...
-4
votes
1answer
579 views

Antecedent of “naked” in “I would like to paint a picture of you naked”

You’re such a pretty person, I would like to paint a picture of you naked. Does this mean "you’ll undress while I get my brushes", or does it mean "strike a pose while I take my clothes off"?