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  1. #1

    Ambiguous sentence

    Humans could both expand and perfect their cultural equipment and transmit knowledge of how to use that equipment through language, the most flexible and finely calibrated tool of all.


    It seems there are two ways to interpretate this.


    1)Humans could both expand and perfect their cultural equipment and transmit knowledge of how to use that equipment through language, the most flexible and finely calibrated tool of all.

    In this case, it is like : Humans could both expand+perfect and transmit


    1)Humans could both expand and perfecttheir cultural equipment and transmit knowledge of how to use that equipment through language, the most flexible and finely calibrated tool of all.

    In this case, it is like : Humans could 1) both expand and perfect 2) transmit


    Which one is right? Any reply'd be appreciated.

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    #2

    Re: Ambiguous sentence

    Ambiguous indeed.

    I would be inclined to look at the first two verbs: 'expand and perfect' as parts of the same process, complemented by 'transmit knowledge', therefore my interpretation would be:

    '...both expand+perfect...and transmit...'

    Just an educated (?) guess.

    Regards,
    Tee Kay

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    #3

    Re: Ambiguous sentence

    Humans could both expand and perfect their cultural equipment and transmit knowledge of how to use that equipment through language, the most flexible and finely calibrated tool of all.
    Wow...an English teacher's nightmare. Quite confusing indeed. Peter, I'm curious to know: where did you find this sentence?

    Tomasz is correct.

  2. #4

    Re: Ambiguous sentence

    Thank you both!

    I found this in a college history textbook which I'm striving to understand. ^_^

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