I need your help. Which word in the heading appears not to belong to the rest? I thought one did not, but I was uncertain so I looked all of them up. I knew what uncertainty meant , but I was unsure of ambiguities. The dictionary defined it as “doubtfulness or uncertainty of meaning or intention: to speak with ambiguity; an ambiguity of manner. Or two, an unclear, indefinite, or equivocal word, expression, meaning, etc.: a contract free of ambiguities; the ambiguities of modern poetry.”
Does that not make ambiguities a synonym of uncertainty?
I saw all three together in a sentence written by Nigel Fabb in his book Language and Literary Structure. Here is what he wrote, “…literary form is seen to be a kind of meaning, a description of itself which the text communicates to the reader, and has all the complex characteristics associated with meaning: uncertainties, ambiguities, and contradictions.” (page 2)
Following the normal way I play the game of “What doesn’t belong here?” I would eliminate contradiction. In actuality, I think contradiction is a hint for eliminating the real outsider “ambiguities” because as I see it now, it is a contradiction of meaning by meaning the same thing as uncertainty. Therefore, I submit it should read, “uncertainties, ambiguities: contradictions” or just read, “uncertainties and contradictions.” Or if one prefers the word ambiguities, then write, “ambiguities and contradictions.”
Have I lost you? If no, that is a miracle.
If no, I ask how you explain these three words belonging together in a list of characteristics associated with the meaning of literary form? If you don’t care that’s okay. I had fun writing out loud.