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 November 29, 2005 05:58 PM | TrackBack

come on Sarah, diagram that sentence...

you know that it is ambiguous as written.

C+ for effort.

Posted by: MajMike at November 29, 2005 07:29 PM

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 07:34 PM

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

Posted by: Pericles at November 30, 2005 03:00 AM


I knew what you meant. :-)


Posted by: Erin at November 30, 2005 11:39 AM

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.


Posted by: Jim Shawley at December 1, 2005 01:06 AM