Amphibologia (am’-fi-bo-lo’-gi-a): Ambiguity of grammatical structure, often occasioned by mispunctuation. [A vice of ambiguity.]
My mother liked our dentist more than me. She sent him candy on his birthday and wore rubber gloves everywhere. She would get high on black market nitrous oxide in the basement in her “dental chair”—a swivel chair mounted on cinder blocks with a naked lightbulb hanging above it. She even wore a little bib, and spit on it.
I, on the other hand, thought our dentist was a sadistic monster captivated by other peoples’ pain. One time, he tried pull out one of my teeth with a pair of pliers. When it wouldn’t come out, he shattered it with a hammer, and collected the tooth fragments off the floor with a whisk broom and a dustpan. It took one hour to remove the tooth with no novocaine, or anything. After it was over he called me a good boy and gave me a silver dollar. I swore I would kill him after school the next day, but I couldn’t come up with a plan and I didn’t know where his office was.
So, you can see why my mother liked our dentist more than me!
Mom was finally institutionalized for her dentalphillia. We committed her when she started flossing our dog’s teeth and trying to make me and Dad wear bibs at the dinner table.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.
Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.