Ambiguity comes in many flavours

In a recent interpreting job a list of things was presented by an English speaker to the other side with the comment “These are things we would like to see in your proposal”. The other side asked “Is this list complete” and the speaker said “No” and did not elaborate.

It looked like the English speakers were withholding useful information, but in fact their answer “No” meant “By all means feel free to add items to this list”. An interesting misunderstanding that took a few minutes to clarify.

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