Presumed ambiguity in the answer

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cossack5

Senior Member
Russian
Hi, friends

There is a short dialog:
- Tell me, do you know the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery?
- Uhm... No?
It seems to me that the answer has two meanings:
1) "I don't know the difference."
2) "There is no difference."

How would you interpret this "dialog"? I'm eager to find out your opinion.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Uhm ..... No?

    This is an answer to the question "Do you know the difference?"
    Literally, it means "No, I don't know the answer."

    The question mark at the end, makes it a different sort of comment. By phrasing it as a question, he is asking the other person whether he is giving the correct answer. This is probably intended to be humorous, as the person who asks the question can't know the answer. Or, it may indicate that the person answering the question is overly anxious to please, and wants to say what the other person wants him to, rather than what is true.
     
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