Perfect Ambiguity

12 ינואר, 2015 ב- 13:19 | פורסם בEnglish, אנגלית, אקדמיה, סמנטיקה | תגובה אחת
I just ran into the most perfect case of ambiguity in a signup form to remain of anonymous origin:
Last (Name First)
So, what does the text in parentheses mean?

  1. It's to be parsed as a template: <First> <Last>, meaning the first name should come first;
  2. It's an English-grammatical instruction (as in "first things first"): "Put your first name last", meaning the last name should come first.

I'm going with the first interpretation, but you gotta admit that this is a case where trying to make things clear only makes them confusing.

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