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Phonological ambiguity

Posted by plebius

"I'll of fanatic am big you a tee" - A non e-mouse

In linguistics, Phonological ambiguity (aka phonetic ambiguity) is a type of ambiguity that arises out of the fact that words sound identical, but in fact have different meanings. The cell phone commercials that blame static for hearing "shamu" instead of "shampoo" is an example of phonetic ambiguity.

Examples:

New direction = nude erection
New day = nude, eh?
Two = too = to
Wait = Weight
Psychotherapist = psycho therapist
You're unconcious now... = Your unconcious now...

Of course there is the famous 'Y to K' (y2k) computer problem. Our compank has found mank waks to fix this problem. Now what should we do about the 99 to 00 problem?

Phonetic ambiguity often results in miscommunication. It is often used for humorous effect, and is also used by some people as a persuasion tool. In Neurolinguistic Programming it is also used for therapeutic purposes.


Sources:
http://wilkes.edu/~tindell/Ed515/langcomp.htm
http://mirrorname.crosswinds.net/PhonAmb.html
http://207.5.93.160/articles/phonetic.asp


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