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Word of the Day

Saturday, October 01, 2016
Definitions for amphiboly
  1. ambiguity of speech, especially from uncertainty of the grammatical construction rather than of the meaning of the words, as in The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose.

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Citations for amphiboly
Maybe it was better to evade the issue, to delay, to be ambiguous and equivocal, indulge in vagueness, anacoluthon, and amphiboly? Mallock, The Cemetery of Swallows, translated by Steven Rendall, 2013
Mr. Farrell noted a current commercial ... in which the candidate said, “I’m Don Cazayoux and I approved this message because that’s who I'm fighting for.” That, Mr. Farrell said, is “an amphiboly, a logical confusion created by a grammatical ambiguity.” Steve Friess, "Candidates 'Approve' Ads and Get a Bit Creative," New York Times, September 30, 2008
Origin of amphiboly
1580-1590
Amphiboly comes from the Latin noun amphibolia meaning "ambiguity," which, in turn, stems from the Greek verb bállein meaning "to throw." It entered English in the late 1500s.
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