Ambiguity Language Patterns



Ambiguity occurs when one sentence, phrase, or word has more than one possible meaning. It is an important tool because it produces confusion and disorientation in the listener while they try and work out the meaning. This stalls the conscious mind for a few valuable moments that can be used to develop a trance state or deliver suggestions.

There are 5 main types:

Semantic Ambiguity (Meaning)

Ambiguous statements in which a single word has more than one meaning.

The best know example is 'Duck!'. It could mean 'look there's a bird' or it might mean 'Lower your head or something is going to hit it.'.

Phonological Ambiguity

Where two words with different meanings sound the same.

For example,
Hear, Here
Eye, I
Right, Write, Rite

Syntactic Ambiguity (grammatical structure)

Where the meaning of a whole sentence can be interpreted in different ways.

For example: "They are milking cows." - Are there some people milking cows or are they the kind of cows you milk? The same applies to: "They are visiting relatives" and "Selling salesmen can be difficult"

Scope Ambiguity

Where it is not clear which parts of a statement refer to other parts.

For example: "Speaking to you as a child..." in which it is not clear whether I am the child, or you are the child or I am pretending to be a child.

Another common example is an adjective describing two nouns linked by 'and' as in "The old men and women..."

A more practical example:
"I don't know how soon you will fully realize that you are sitting here comfortably, listening to the sound of my voice, and going into a deep trance."

Punctuation Ambiguity

Where the punctuation is missing as in a run on sentence or where pauses occur in the wrong places.

"I want you to notice your hand me the glass.", where 'hand' is the end of one phrase and also the beginning of the next.
"How are you able to go into a deep trance?", where 'are you' could be part of the initial greeting or the start of the question about their ability to go into trance.