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Monday, February 18, 2013

Another nice rejection letter


1 comment:

  1. Another nice rejection letter...where was the first? While there is ambiguity in the global scope reading (whether you were below or above their expectations), it is pretty clear what the narrow scope reading of the letter is. There is actually a lot of ambiguity in what we say but our brain is somehow able process the correct meaning MOST of the time (unless misunderstanding||garden paths).

    For example:
    Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White, about a pig named Wilbur who is saved from being slaughtered by an intelligent spider named Charlotte.

    Reading 1: Someone saves Wilbur from being slaughtered by an intelligent spider named Charlotte.

    Reading 2: An intelligent spider named Charlotte saves Wilbur from being slaughtered by someone.

    An example from headlines:
    TWO SISTERS REUNITED AFTER 18 YEARS IN CHECKOUT LINE

    Reading 1:
    After standing in the checkout line for 18 years, the two sisters meet again.

    Reading 2:
    Two sisters meet again after being separated for 18 years (in the "normal" sense; NOT at a checkout line).

    I apologize for the long comment. I found it funny that the strip was linguistics related so I thought I'd share some ling info with you.
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    What I wanted to say before I got on a tangent:
    Wow you get mildly subtle compliments even in your rejection letters!

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