Posted by Neal on April 30, 2005
Last week, my wife pointed out a headline on the front page of the arts section of the paper. She said it was one that I in particular would get a laugh out of. It was a story about the plot in the movie The Interpreter, which evidently is surprisingly sophisticated for an action movie. It said:
Interpreter speaks to adult filmgoers.
“Right,” I said. “‘Interpreter,’ ‘speaks to’… heh, heh.”
“No,” she said, “Adult filmgoers. Like, adult films?”
“OHH!” How could I have missed such a great bracketing ambiguity? For the next five minutes, I kept breaking into chuckles as I thought about fans of adult films getting, uh, excited about The Interpreter. (It’s like the Muppet Show bracketing ambiguity mentioned here.) Whenever I started laughing again, my wife started laughing too; my level of amusement at the joke struck her as much funnier than the joke itself.
“Honey,” I said, “You know how to please me.”