Discussion:
one of my favorite things
Add Reply
a***@gmail.com
2018-09-14 08:55:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
1) Playing chess is one of his favorite things he can do at home.

Can't that sentence be understood in two ways:

a) A subset of the set of his favorite things to do is the set of the ones he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them.

b) A subset of the set of the things he can do at home the set of his favorite
things he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them.


They don't really mean the same. In 'b', playing chess might not be one
of his favorite things to do per se.


Gratefully,
Navi
Peter T. Daniels
2018-09-14 12:26:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
On Friday, September 14, 2018 at 4:55:40 AM UTC-4, ***@gmail.com wrote:
> 1) Playing chess is one of his favorite things he can do at home.
>
> Can't that sentence be understood in two ways:

Probably ungrammatical in the first place.

> a) A subset of the set of his favorite things to do is the set of the

yet here you manage to do it correctly

> ones he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them.
>
> b) A subset of the set of the things he can do at home the set of his favorite
> things he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them.
>
>
> They don't really mean the same. In 'b', playing chess might not be one
> of his favorite things to do per se.

SCOPE friggin' AMBIGUITY.
Jerry Friedman
2018-09-14 13:42:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
On 9/14/18 2:55 AM, ***@gmail.com wrote:
> 1) Playing chess is one of his favorite things he can do at home.
>
> Can't that sentence be understood in two ways:
>
> a) A subset of the set of his favorite things to do is the set of the ones he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them.
>
> b) A subset of the set of the things he can do at home the set of his favorite
> things he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them.
>
>
> They don't really mean the same. In 'b', playing chess might not be one
> of his favorite things to do per se.

It's informal. Someone speaking or writing carefully would use it only
for b, I'd say, but you might hear it used for a.

--
Jerry Friedman
Loading...