Kamloops This Week, 2017-12-05 edition has a front-page headline of “Council asked to crack down on pot stores”.
The issue: The issue of stores selling marijuana prior to its planned legalisation in 2018 is a hot issue in Kamloops. So is that Council asked someone or someones, say, staff, to crack down, or is it that Council was asked to crack down? Since newspaper headlines often omit forms of “to be” for shortness, it is unclear. It is the former.
In 1977, Jerry Doucette released a song “Mama Let Him Play”.
The issue: The title should be “Mama, Let Him Play”. Without the comma, it means Mama allowed him to play instead of a plea for her to let him do so (which is the point of the song).
From an E-mail list post of mine: “Undated posts (blog or forum) are also something one could get rich on on the $1 plan.”
The issue: The first “on” is part of the phrase “get rich on”. This is not just getting rich, but getting rich because of (which is the meaning here for the second “on”) the $1 plan.
From a USENET post: ‘I had a “former” customer just remove his AV. Problem solved.’
The issue: The word “just”. Did the ex-customer do it recently, or did he do it without doing other things (like asking if he should)?
A SoraNew24 article has this as its last paragraph: “As for the taste of this meaty monstrosity? It has all the classic taste of Cup Noodle but with more in the way of chunky goodness and meat sweats, although that may just have been us. Finally, there’s a Cup Noodle that contains two of the main food groups, bird and mammal. Cup Noodle and questionable meat lovers rejoice! Unless they sell out, like last time.”
The issue: “sell out” can means sold all of something and have no more or to compromise one’s ethics. Either might fit.
I hurt my arm recently. I have thought at various times: “My arm is better.”
The issue: “better” could mean that my arm is back to normal, or it could mean only that it has improved but is still not totally healed. Unfortunately, the latter is the case.
“You are either malicious or incompetent. I grant that both is a possibility, too.”
The issue: “both” usually takes plural verb forms, as in “… both are …”, but malicious and incompetent can be considered two things or just one. (The singular use can be emphasised by adding “you being” just before the “both” or “being the case” after it.)
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagano_Prefecture: “Among other issues, he has refused national government money for construction projects that he deems unnecessary, such as dams, and has overhauled (locally) the press club system that is blamed for limiting government access to journalists who give favorable coverage.”
The issue: Is it that only journalists who give favorable coverage get access, or is it that a journalist’s access is limited if he gives favorable coverage? By context and common sense, it is the former, but the latter is a valid parsing.
In a recent post to rec.puzzles, I wrote “So, so far, it is possible.”
The issue: Another word doubling. The first “so” is used in the sense of therefore, and the second in the sense of to the indicated degree.
The issue: I thought this about a confusion at work that I had worked out. My boss’s assistant might have asked, and that is how I could have replied. However, my job involving preparing rock and soil samples for processing; this is called sorting. This means that when I had the confusion sorted, I did not have the work (sorting) done. I would have created another confusion. Context counts!