Can We Pass a Law Requiring the TNGOP to Hire an English Major to Write for Them?

World, I bring you

If someone enters into one of these unions in another state, we do not want any ambiguity in our law to prohibit the recognition of that union in Tennessee.

I’ve taken it out of context just for a second, so that you’re not biased by the surrounding paragraphs and I’m going to ask you, just based on that sentence, are the Tennessee House Republicans for or against civil unions?

Clearly, this sentence means, “If you enter into a civil union in another state, when you come to Tennessee, we do not want any ambiguity in our law to…” aw fuck.  You can’t even paraphrase it.  This sentence clearly says–“We House Republicans want to make sure civil unions are recognized in Tennessee.”  That’s what it says.

That’s not what they mean.

What they mean is something along the lines of “If someone enters into one of these unions in another state, we do not want any ambiguity in our law; the recognition of that union is prohibited in Tennessee.”

I don’t know.  There’s something both galling and hilarious about folks who can’t even make their position clearly understood trying to impose their moral will on the rest of us.

Ha, maybe I shouldn’t have pointed that out.  No, Republicans!  I take it back.  Please, work towards removing any ambiguity in our laws that might accidentally prohibit the recognition of same-sex unions in Tennessee!

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5 thoughts on “Can We Pass a Law Requiring the TNGOP to Hire an English Major to Write for Them?

  1. I disagree that it “clearly” says anything! I think you can parse it either of two ways, each meaning the opposite! (Nice ambiguity). I can’t draw tree diagrams in comments, but here’s an attempt at representing the ambiguity in brackets:

    Reading 1: we do not want any ambiguity in [our law to prohibit the recognition of that union]

    Reading 2: we do not [want [any ambiguity in our law] to prohibit the recognition of that union]

    I.e. in the first reading, it is a law to prohibit recognition
    In the second reading, they to not want to prohibit recognition.

    I agree with you that the second reading is more natural, though, since we are more used to hearing the collocation “want to” than the collocation “a law to”.

    And the irony of such a sentence being ambiguous is delicious.

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