“If you choose an answer at random, what is your probability of being correct?” The question is, I think, pragmatically ambiguous. It features neither lexical nor structural ambiguity, yet the joke hinges on understanding the question in more than one way.
Record fans insist that the plural of ‘vinyl’ to mean “a vinyl record” is the zero-plural ‘vinyl’. This irregular form serves as a shibboleth for audiophiles. Since the form was regular (‘vinyls’) during the 1960s, I conjecture that the irregular form must have arisen relatively recently.
In lieu of an inaugural posting as the in-coming digital content editor (it’s coming next year, I promise), enjoy this year-end roundup of ling-anth related stories.
In this edition of our bi-weekly Roundup: the satirical journal Speculative Grammarian tackles fieldwork; the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is discussing a resolution condemning Arizona’s new immigration law; work summarized in Science Daily suggests that loss of hearing in one ear affects children’s scores on language tests.