General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

How do you eliminate any possible ambiguity from the following sentence?

Asked by LostInParadise (31943points) March 23rd, 2021
9 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Consider the sentence, “Everybody in each group spoke the same language”. I think most people would interpret this to mean that within a particular group everyone spoke the same language, but the language may vary from one group to another.

It is still possible to interpret the sentence to mean that everyone across all groups spoke the same language. Is there a simple way of changing the sentence to eliminate any possible ambiguity?

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janbb's avatar

Within each group, everybody spoke the same language.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Language use was homogeneous within each group

AK's avatar

Each group had a common language, spoken by all members. No ambiguity, no fancy words. Conveys the message clearly and very less chance of it being misunderstood.

LostInParadise's avatar

How do you know that what is meant is that the language is common within groups and not between them? Maybe it would be clearer if you said “spoken by all its members”.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Use the KISS theory “Each group spoke the same language.”

LostInParadise's avatar

Does that mean that every group spoke the same language as every other group?

flutherother's avatar

If the groups all spoke the same language you could say “everyone spoke the same language.”

If each group spoke a different language then “each group spoke a different language but within each group everyone spoke the same language”.

If only some groups spoke a different language you could say “some groups spoke different languages but within each group the language was the same.”

Jeruba's avatar

Everyone in each group shared a common language with the other members of that group.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I suppose @Jeruba‘s is most succinct without more context.

We’ll break into same language small groups.

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