Go here for a clip run on WABE 90.1 FM, the Atlanta public radio station, and the related article. They’re about lines 37 and 38 of Georgia’s HB 280, a bill that would allow guns on campus at Georgia’s public colleges and universities. You hear me for a big ten seconds.
Here’s the language at issue:
Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.
I’m not inclined to go into gruesome detail, but it’s a wonder of syntactic ambiguity. In 15 words it features three instances of syntactic ambiguity giving rise to eight different meanings. As usual, analysis offered by others was all over the place. There were three possible meanings. The serial comma played a role somehow. No and no.
I enjoyed chatting about it with Johnny Kauffman, the WABE reporter.