Archive for the 'books' Category

Being In Love

September 25, 2010

You know you’re in love with somebody when you wake up next to them, comfortable despite your breath smelling like week-old water at the bottom of a vase, when you are terribly excited to see them, to talk to them again, having missed them after all that sleep. You can fall out of bed into the shower and, still comfortable, burp or even fart while trying out various keys in which to sing the theme to a Peter Greenaway movie that you both hated and have never seen. – Simon, Seven Types of Ambiguity

How enigmatic.


Seven Types of Ambiguity

September 17, 2010

One sleepless night, I decide to revisit an old book,  “Seven types of Ambiguity”.

“Seven types of Ambiguity ” was first published by William Empson. Elliot Perlman takes the title of this book and wrote a compelling story of man and his perplexing world. The book is written through the perspectives intersperse among various characters.

William Empson is the intellectual hero of the book’s protagonist, who named his dog after him.

Should time allow, I may do a breakdown of the story, a perplexing one 🙂 However for now, I would just share William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity.

  1. The first type of ambiguity is the metaphor, that is, when two things are said to be alike which have different properties. This concept is similar to that of metaphysical conceit.
  2. Two or more meanings are resolved into one. Empson characterizes this as using two different metaphors at once.
  3. Two ideas that are connected through context can be given in one word simultaneously.
  4. Two or more meanings that do not agree but combine to make clear a complicated state of mind in the author.
  5. When the author discovers his idea in the act of writing. Empson describes a simile that lies halfway between two statements made by the author.
  6. When a statement says nothing and the readers are forced to invent a statement of their own, most likely in conflict with that of the author.
  7. Two words that within context are opposites that expose a fundamental division in the author’s mind.[2]

Ambiguity is by far, one of the most perplexing concept that I have yet to be able to grapple with. Perhaps the masters of ambiguity are the skilled manipulators.