Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Initial Stress Derived Nouns: My New Fascination

Recently I was having conversation with a friend of mine when he wrote a sentence containing the line, “ ….the French protest interest groups.” Normally this happening in an irc channel I couldn't care less about how someone wrote a sentence
What struck me about this sentence was that the meaning of the sentence could be changed depending on how protest was perceived, if it was a noun then it had one meaning, if it was a verb then it had a completely different meaning. Being fascinated by this I did a quick Google search and found that they where called Initial-stress-derived nouns

Here are some:
Affect        Block          Bottle            Brush
Complex   Document    Exploit          Fart
Guide        Heat            Invite            Jail
Knock       Lick            Misprint        Name
Offer         Push            Quarter         Reprint
Sail           Taxi             Undercount   Visit
Wage        X-ray          Yell               Zeugma 

Then I came up with some sentences that could use these words to change their meanings.

Czech bear search party.
Soviet push blocks up Germans.

After reading around a bit more I found out that these where essential parts of the logical fallacy known as the amphiboly. Which occurs when a sentence can have a different meaning depending on how it's written. You usually see this with poor use of grammar but as shown above, is not limited to comas and loose use of pronouns.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.

And so begins my blogging adventure, I'm mostly interested in literature, language and technology so you'll find posts about related topics such as books I've read recently or oddities that come across throughout my day to day adventures.