Philosophical Rambling: Escapism

Paul Andinach pandinac at tartarus.uwa.edu.au
Tue Jul 18 04:50:42 EDT 2000


[Britta:]

> > > Hallie's mail ticked me off on another tangent:

[Hallie:]

> > :-)  I hope it didn't really tick you off!

[Philip:]

> Interesting variation in meaning here.  Hallie seems to use the
> phrase "tick off" to mean annoy.  I generally understand it to mean
> remonstrate or reprimand.

It's the ambiguity. Was Britta ticked off *with* Hallie, or *by*
Hallie? If the former, Hallie annoyed Britta; if the latter, Hallie
reprimanded Britta.

Although, looking at it, the "annoyed" interpretation doesn't really
fit; how does one get annoyed on a tangent?
(I suppose it could be "Hallie's mail ticked me off. On another
tangent..." badly punctuated, but that doesn't seem right.)

On the other hand, one can easily interpret the statement as "Hallie,
in her mail, ticked me off because of another tangent." But then it
makes little sense relative to the rest of the message.


> I too don't drink alcohol, except for ritual purposes (Holy
> Communion, in case you're wondering)

In other words, Philip drinks religiously. ;)

Paul
-- 
Will Do Random Acts Of Senseless Semantic Deconstruction For Food

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