Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. M56
    Guest
    #1

    Button down your ears!

    Cute, if incorrect, sentence.

    "I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned them under my chin."


    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 566
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Button down your ears!

    lol...M56 that's a great example of an unintentional ambiguity; the verb 'buttoned' obviously meant by the writer to refer to the noun 'flaps' may be read as referring to 'ears', which makes up the joke...Cute, indeed, particularly when you try to imagine a person buttoning their ears under the chin...hehe...


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 18
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Wow, that's really nice:)
    Could you tell me if such a sentence is actually incorrect? Is it a language mistake to write so ambigously?

  2. M56
    Guest
    #4

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Quote Originally Posted by skoczna
    Wow, that's really nice:)
    Could you tell me if such a sentence is actually incorrect? Is it a language mistake to write so ambigously?
    I guess that would depend on whether you got the right message across.


    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 265
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Cute, if incorrect, sentence.

    "I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned them under my chin."
    How would you correct this "incorrect" sentence to avoid the ambiguity, may I ask?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 566
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico
    How would you correct this "incorrect" sentence to avoid the ambiguity, may I ask?
    How about the following:

    I had a wool hat with flaps that, when buttoned under my chin, covered my ears.

    All the best,

    TK

  3. M56
    Guest
    #7

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomasz Klimkiewicz
    How about the following:

    I had a wool hat with flaps that, when buttoned under my chin, covered my ears.

    All the best,

    TK
    I like it.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Quote Originally Posted by skoczna
    "I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned them under my chin."

    Could you tell me if such a sentence is actually incorrect? Is it a language mistake to write so ambigously?
    In English, pronouns refer to the closest noun. In our example sentence, the closest noun to them is ears,

    EX: I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears (noun) when I buttoned them (pronoun) under my chin.

    which reads,

    EX: ?I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned my ears under my chin.

    To correct it, move the referent closer, like this,

    EX: I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned the flaps under my chin.

  5. M56
    Guest
    #9

    Re: Button down your ears!

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    In English, pronouns refer to the closest noun. In our example sentence, the closest noun to them is ears,

    EX: I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears (noun) when I buttoned them (pronoun) under my chin.

    which reads,

    EX: ?I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned my ears under my chin.

    To correct it, move the referent closer, like this,

    EX: I had a wool hat with flaps that covered my ears when I buttoned the flaps under my chin.

    Oooer! Don't like that one at all. Flps x 2? Not for me.


    • Join Date: Jul 2005
    • Posts: 265
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: Button down your ears!

    How about this way:-
    "My wool hat had flaps which could be buttoned under my chin to cover my ears."

Similar Threads

  1. Using the 'Quote' button
    By Tdol in forum News and Announcements
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 21-May-2005, 10:19
  2. Coming into ears...
    By piggy386 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Jan-2005, 03:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •