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[word-lover] 【整理】2015-03-30 How to Use a Word

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[word-lover] 【整理】2015-03-30 How to Use a Word



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cristianjey在 整理的参考文本:
Transcript.

Today's word is amphibology, spelled A-M-P-H-I-B-O-L-O-G-Y.

Amphibology is a noun that means a sentence or phrase that can be interpreted in more than one way. Here is the word used in a sentence by Jonathan Ford in the Financial Times.

"I have started an amphibology collection: my favourite to date is the garage that advertises its services with the words: 'Why go anywhere else to be robbed?'"

A venerable old word in English, amphibology is from the Greek word amphibolos via the Late Latin and the Latin words. Amphibolos comes from amphi- meaning "both" and ballein meaning "to throw," literally "encompassing" or "hitting at both ends"; figuratively it means "ambiguous." Amphibology is an equivocator's friend. An editor who has sent an unsolicited manuscript to critique, for example, might reply, "I shall lose no time in reading your book." Or a dinner guest who feels the onset of heartburn might say something like, "Ah, that was a meal I shall not soon forget!" But amphibology’s ambiguity can be unintended and undesirable as well, as in "When Mom talked to Judy, she said she might call her back the next day." Who said who might call whom back?

I'm Peter Sokolowski with your Word of the Day.

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