RE: ambiguous sentences

Subject: RE: ambiguous sentences
From: "Earl Cooley" <shiva -at- io -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2002 14:57:06 -0500

Sean Hower wrote:
> Sean Brierley wrote:
> Writing "the horse raced past the barn fell" seems to be an
> incomplete thought, any way you slice it.
> -----------------------------------
> I would agree, to some extent. But you have to remember that
> linguistics deals with language, not writing. What's grammatical
> in writing is not always grammatical in speech, especially in
> different dialects. Besides, we rarely speak in fully grammatical
> sentences unless we are making a conscious effort to do so, like
> when we are in court or at a formal gathering of some kind.
> The question is, could you imagine someone _saying_ "the horse
> raced past the barn fell." I can, and I've heard people say many
> things that are quite similar to that.

Someone afflicted with Male Answer Syndrome might helpfully
explain that a "barn fell" is a kind of lean-to which is
normally built right next to a barn, which would clarify
the meaning of the formerly ambiguous sentence. heh.

e=sc^ (shiva -at- io -dot- com) Earl Cooley III

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RE: ambiguous sentences: From: Sean Hower

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