November 29, 2005


Dang, I just wasted a lot of time playing around with these lists of celebrity Republicans. The most surprising people? 50 Cent and John Malkovich.

I emailed my friends about 50 Cent and said "Did you know that 50 Cent would've voted for Bush if he weren't a convicted felon?" And then I realized that sentence has a grammatically ambiguous modifier...except for the fact that there's nothing ambiguous about which of them is the felon. So does that make the sentence ambiguous or not?

Man, I wish I was still in touch with my best friend from college; we'd have a blast analyzing that one.

Posted by: Sarah at 12:58 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 come on Sarah, diagram that sentence... you know that it is ambiguous as written. C+ for effort.

Posted by: MajMike at November 29, 2005 02:29 PM (zXWkt)

2 I'm not arguing that it's not *grammatically* ambiguous, but what I'm asking -- from a Descriptive point of view -- is whether *meaning* should count at all for ambiguity.

Posted by: Sarah at November 29, 2005 02:34 PM (3l/e2)

3 Can we just agree to say that there is no ambiguity about which one has been convicted?

Posted by: Pericles at November 29, 2005 10:00 PM (eKf5G)

4 Sarah, I knew what you meant. :-) Erin

Posted by: Erin at November 30, 2005 06:39 AM (AUtEP)

5 How about, "...had he not been convicted of a felonious crime", or "...had he not been a convicted felon"? Love your site, Sarah, and wish you and your Captain a great Christmas and New Year. Jim

Posted by: Jim Shawley at November 30, 2005 08:06 PM (bKR1b)

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