I couldn’t resist reporting on a very nice piece of unintentional (I think!) ambiguity in today’s Guardian newspaper.
The article concerns the rise of food banks in the UK to supply food to people in financial difficulties. At one point it dealt with the supply of food hampers to families at Christmas time and mentioned the fact that a magnanimous delivery company had turned its fleet of vehicles over “to hamper distribution”.
It might be helpful to you if I point out that the word hamper is a noun meaning a basket, usually made of cane, and used for taking food on picnics and things like that. But the word is also a verb meaning “to obstruct”.
Of course the phrase would probably not be ambiguous if it were spoken. Why not?
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