Hot Cheesy Pepper Jack Fondue Dip
Introducing the next Cook the Story series: a hot cheesy pepper jack fondue dip recipe, and…
LINGUISTICALLY AMBIGUOUS FOODS
Time for a Linguistics lesson! (Don’t worry. I’ll make it brief and we’ll get right to the pepper jack fondue recipe.)
Linguists get a bit excited when they’re around ambiguity. If you’ve ever taken a course in Linguistics, raise your hand if you’ve heard too much about the word “unlockable” or if you’ve drawn two sentence structure diagrams for “The boy saw the girl with the binoculars.”
What do I mean by ambiguity? Ask yourself whether the boy or the girl is holding a pair of binoculars. The sentence has two possible meanings. One meaning has the boy using a pair of binoculars to check out the gal next door. The other meaning has the boy glancing out his window and noticing that he has a peeping Jill for a neighbor.
Similarly, “unlockable” can mean “able to be unlocked” as in, “I have their house key and so their door is unlock-able. Let’s break in and steal their binoculars.” Or, “not able to be locked” as in “Hey, doesn’t anyone have a key for this door? I guess we can’t lock it behind us. It’s un-lockable. Hope nobody comes in and steals our binoculars while we’re gone.”
The peeping Tom/Jill type of ambiguity is called syntactic ambiguity (syntax = the structure of phrases and sentences). The different meanings come from the different possible relationships between the words in the sentence (is “with the binoculars” related to “the boy” or to “the girl”?). The binocular-stealing type is morphological ambiguity (morphology = the structure of words). The different meanings stem from the different ways that the bits within the word can be related to one another (is “un-” negating “lockable” or is it only negating “lock”?).
Lexical ambiguity is a third type of ambiguity. An example is found in the sub-title The Hot Cheesy Dip recipe found in my Food 52 Fondue Contest entry. What are the different meanings of this sub-title? What causes this ambiguity? Does the ambiguity mislead readers? Why or why not?
End of lesson. Phew!
Now let’s leave behind the linguistics porn and go back to the food porn.
Here’s my contest entry and recipe for the Artichoke Leaves and Cumin Sour Grape Dippers with Pepper Jack Fondue.
For another fun twist on fondue, be sure to also check out my recipe for mozzarella fondue soup!
Now please head over to my fondue dip recipe and let me (and others) know what you think. Thanks!
- Hot Chocolate Cake: All Meanings Realized « Cook the Story
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- Unambiguously Baked Baked Potato Soup « Cook the Story