I guess I'll reply to Madelyn and Ryan on the ambiguity discussion a while ago...I concede that in literature ambiguity can be a good thing just as you two said. I am very surprised by the comment about law - I was under the impression that the law was very black and white...and if this isn't the case, how would the justice system break down if it became so? To Ryan, how would more unambiguous (is there a better word than that?) texts be "much worse written"?
The "religious texts" reference was very general - I was not specifically refering to the Bible. The recent suicide bombings would be a good example of extremists interpreting their religious text (the Islamic religious text is the old testement of the Bible isn't it?) one way, whereas most Muslims interpret the passages very differently. If the text was unambiguous we would have avoided all the bloodshed and hatred - it was an example where ambiguity and misunderstanding has been detremental to society.
I maintain that in normal conversation, ambiguity leads to misunderstanding, and one must therefore strive to avoid it.
Well, fellow pedants, it's eventually happened: I've received negative rep'. I think though that I really didn't deserve it. I simply made a comment about stationary stores and I received my little red square from 'dogtanian', who proclaimed that 'constant pedantry is boring'. I sincerely hope that she is alone in her quest to promote and enforce the use of poor English.
Oh dear - my sympathy. I would give you rep if it would make a difference, but I understand that only members with more than 200 points can influence the rep of other members. Aw what the hell - a toke gesture it is then.
I think 'learnt' is English, 'learned' is the U.S. Newspeak version of English. But I could be wrong.