RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 6 15:52:44 UTC 2000


If I say to a stranger in the next public-toilet stall, "Do you have the
paper?" they will not think I mean 'the newspaper' or 'your term paper'--even
though "the paper" would have to mean 'the newspaper' or 'your term paper' in
other pragmatic situations, and even though the normal way of requesting the
desired information would be "Do you have any paper?" They may think I am a
foreigner, however. (Or that I believe that this particular public toilet has
only one roll available to all.)

In a message dated 6/5/2000 11:20:07 PM, amy at W-STS.COM writes:

<< Haven t those chuckling ignoramuses ever heard of polysemy?  Even

>though åBerliner  is also used in northern Grmany to mean åjelly-filled

>doughnut,  when someone says åIch bin (ein) Berliner,  it means åI am a

>male person from Berlin  only. >>

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