Attachment postings

Postings on modifier attachment, in VPs and NPs

Note: there is a gigantic psycholinguistics literature on attachment. This is just a listing of some postings on Language Log and AZBlog on the subject.

ML, 5/1/04: Speakers vs. hearers:

AZ, 7/7/04: Don’t dangle your participles in public:

AZ, 2/22/06: Not your usual modifier attachment problem:

Neal Whitman, Literal-Minded, 4/25/06: Like a Racehorse:
“I need to pee like a racehorse”

AZ, 11/16/07: Opening Parliament and deliver a speech:

AZ, 12/6/07: QE2:

EB, 12/9/08: Believed to be an F-18:

Believed to be an F-18

[note especially the comments by David Clausen and me]

1/10/09: Comma, please:

10/31/09: The nanosecond of uncertainty:
section on modifier attachment

11/21/10: A comma, doctor!:

8/8/11: Go high or go low:

8/27/11: Reversed blame:

1/14/12: Wrapping it up:

6/28/12: The lure of Low Attachment:

8/4/12: On the ambiguity watch:

10/25/12: Three headlines:

11/6/12: Dance with the one that’s nearest?:

12/8/12: What is this postcard of which you speak:
Zits cartoon

BZ, 4/12/13: Attachment ambiguity in “Frazz”:

Attachment ambiguity in “Frazz”

Neal Whitman, Literal Minded, 5/19/14: Sleep Like Death, Death Like Sleep:

12/12/14: High Attachment in the political news:

4/7/15: High Attachment in the NYT:

5/16/15: An attachment problem:
One Big Happy cartoon

7/30/15: Going for High Attachment:

8/27/15: Briefly: HA in the commercials:
Febreze commercial

3/9/17: Spring bulbs:
unsuccessful high attachment in a plant description

5/27/17: Memorial Saturday 4:
high attachment

3/15/17: giving a speech on drugs:
high attachment

9/1/18: Further adventures with Low Attachment:
intended HA in two headline labeled as crash blossoms; also meaning to write or draw in Ancient Greek

9/17/18: The news for shoes:
in ad copy for shoes: beautifully crafted shoes for women made in Spain (intended HA,the LA interpretation probably not noticed by readers)

9/30/18: Attaching an 8-page essay at Wheaton College:
headline: Christian college punished football players who raped and beat a student with an 8-page essay; 4 attachments, highest HA intended

12/20/18: Ask not for whom the Reaper scythes:
Purell … claims to kill 99.99% of common germs that may cause illness in as little as 15 seconds. : HA intended, LA hard to resist

4/5/19: Science, charity, and adverbial attachment:
joke ambiguity turning on attachment ambiguity?

12/1/19: Three comic rabbits for December:
MGG cartoon turning on an attachment ambiguity

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