i am an infrequent viewer of rocketboom (at least since Amanda Congdon left the show, not that Joanne is bad, but i digress...) but i checked out today's show when i saw the title. it features several of the examples you find in your average LING 101 class designed to amaze/amuse/put to sleep the undergrads. among them:
- structural ambiguity - "the woman saw the girl with a telescope." a classic. unfortunately mislabeled as lexical ambiguity
- the @!@#$!&% buffalo sentence - i hate this. some people think it's the best thing ever.
- semi-homophony in chinese - i bet chinese speakers hate this way more than the buffalo sentence.
- garden path sentences - again the canonical example: "the horse raced past the barn fell." no mention of what they are, and no explanation other than a crappy mspaint drawing that actually misinterprets the sentence.
so yeah, that's all. five bucks says language log has a multi-page detailed explanation of this tomorrow.