Bob is mentoring Steve at a new job, and they are working their way through some poorly written instructions to install an update for some critical software.

Things are going okay up until they find this sentence:


Bob doesn't see what the problem is, but Steve says "Every word in that sentence is ambiguous!"

Bob demands that Steve prove this wild accusation.

Can you present a list of statements proving that every single word in the sentence is ambiguous?

That is, present a list of clarifications showing that each word can be interpreted in more than one way. Bonus points awarded for finding extra criteria, but you have to find alternate meanings for all ten words.

Apparently this is too broad and confusing so here's a hint and a guide to the first two words.

"You" can mean the person who is reading the statement,


"You" can be a proper noun, as in a person's name.


"Cannot" can indicate that you are physically incapable of doing something, and the statement is a warning not to attempt to do so as that might lead to physical injury in the attempt...


"Cannot" can indicate that you are not permitted but are certainly capable, and the statement is a command...

or... (bonus)

"Cannot" is Mr. You's last name.

The goal of this exercise is to produce the remaining 8 words's dual meanings.


closed as too broad by Deusovi, GentlePurpleRain, Ric, f'', Rohcana Sep 22 '15 at 18:41

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Base meaning:

This server that uses a terminal client (to connect to other computers) does not support this update.


You cannot install this update on a terminal server client, but other people can.


You are not allowed to install the update, but it's perfectly possible.


The computer can successfully run the software, but you cannot give the software power over the computer (eg root access).


You cannot install any updates at all onto this computer.


You cannot install this update to the critical software OR to the operating system.


You must use another computer to install this update; the update can exist on this computer, but an auxiliary compute is necessary.


The terminal server client designated "A" cannot hold this update.


This computer is at the end of a network; the update is only functional on computers that connect multiple other computers to each other.

Server: This robot butler does not support the update.


This computer is not a server but a client of servers, ie it connects to servers.


The client (the software connecting to another computer) cannot handle the update, but that is unrelated to the client (the computer connecting to another computer).

  • $\begingroup$ What about a restaurant waiter that is a client of a gym and is terminally ill? $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Sep 22 '15 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ I think "cannot" $\neq$ "can not" and that makes a difference. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Sep 22 '15 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Cannot could mean unable or not permitted. $\endgroup$ – Gordon K Sep 22 '15 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ You've found an alternate meaning for the overall sentence, but only one meaning for each word. Unless I'm reading your answer incorrectly. Can you break it into a word by word comparison to show two meanings for each word? $\endgroup$ – Kingrames Sep 23 '15 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Kingrames: The "base meaning" is the meaning that all the others are compared to. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Sep 23 '15 at 19:17

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