April 26th, 2005

flock

Ambiguity

I just heard a commercial that included, as nearly as I can remember it, the following sentence:

"Only two Aleve can relieve arthritis pain."

Now, consider this sentence:

"Only two people can understand Gesornenplatz theory."

If you were told that someone responded to the first sentence with "Gee, how do they pick the right two Aleve out of all those pills?" you'd probably infer that the responder is either a child or trying to be funny—yet that's just interpreting the first sentence the way almost everybody would interpret the second, nearly identical, sentence.

Just another example of how real world knowledge is used to determine the meaning of sentences.
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    "More Than Words," Extreme