Meaning Analysis Continued

Thinking needs to be precise and clear, but the language we use to express our thoughts is often imprecise and misleading. In this section, you will read about identifying common ways in which language can lead us astray.

Complete all exercises and check your answers.


 Exercise #1

See if you can identify the ways in which these examples are ambiguous.

  1. For sale - an antique table suitable for lady with thick legs.
  2. For sale - ten puppies from an Australian terrier and a Boston terrier.
  3. He left the bomb fifty yards to the right of the car in front of the house.
  4. Mary loves Peter and Paul and Susan loves him too.
  5. It is not advisable to take aspirin and alcohol after a meal.
  6. I saw her duck.
  7. The teacher hit the student with a stick.
  8. Tiffany worries about annoying taxi drivers.
  9. The old men and women sat at the front of the hall.

Source: Joe Lau and Jonathan Chan,
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