September 22nd, 2018 10:39 AM
THE SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY (CONFLATIONISM)
by William Empson
1 – The first type of ambiguity is the metaphor, that is, when two things are said to be alike which have different properties. This concept is similar to that of metaphysical conceit.
2 – Two or more meanings are resolved into one. Empson characterizes this as using two different metaphors at once.
3 – Two ideas that are connected through context can be given in one word simultaneously.
4 – Two or more meanings that do not agree but combine to make clear a complicated state of mind in the speaker.
5 – When the author discovers his idea in the act of writing. Empson describes a simile that lies halfway between two statements made by the author.
6 – When a statement says nothing and the readers are forced to invent a statement of their own, most likely in conflict with that of the author.
7 – Two words that within context are opposites that expose a fundamental division in the author’s mind.