Linguistic humor, Classified advertisements

Lexical ambiguity

Our bikinis are exciting. They are simply the tops.

Structural and scope ambiguity

For sale: antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.

For sale: Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating.
(Steven Pinker. 1994. The language instinct. Morrow. 102.)

Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.

Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.

We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.

We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.00.


And now, the Superstore—unequaled in size, unmatched in variety, unrivaled inconvenience.