April 11th, 2009

Ambiguous language

We sat in traffic for four hours on Friday on our way to Williamsburg. I was reminded of the opening of the movie Office Space, where the guy looks over from his morning commute and sees an old man with a walker moving faster than he is. I made a comment about this, along with one about the scene where the guys beat up the copier.

Some time later, the following conversation ensued:

Orville: "I want to hear more about the scene with the shapeshifter."
Parents: "Huh?"
Orville: "The scene where they attack a shapeshiftper."
Parents: "Who mentioned a shapeshifter? When?"
Orville: "You said that they attacked a copier."
Parents: "Er...they beat up a Xerox machine...like a printer...with baseball bats."
Orville: "Huh?"

Just goes to show how important context is when dealing with language.