I’d Like to Buy a Vowel, Please…

There is a word that I know that I know, but I can’t remember it. I’ve been trying to remember it for the last three weeks, with no success. I’ve had a “background process” in my mind that’s been combing through all my memories, but it keeps coming up with bupkus. If anyone knows this word, please email me and let me know.

The word, if I’m remembering rightly, begins with trans-. Googling for “trans-” mostly just brings up articles about “transgender” crap, which is not what I want.

The word I’m looking for describes a literary condition where you ascribe an action to the wrong person in a sentence or paragraph. This happens a lot in books like The Bible where you see sentences like “He looked at him and he died.” The potential confusion in a sentence like that is which “he” in that sentence died? Is it the first “he” who looked at the other, or is it the second “he” who was looked at by the first? The word I’m looking for describes this confusion of pronouns.

If you think you know the word, please let me know.

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One thought on “I’d Like to Buy a Vowel, Please…

  1. Well, I’m intrigued, because right offhand I can’t imagine which word it is that you’re searching for either. The noun that a pronoun refers to is referred to as the pronoun’s antecedent, and so the scenario you proposed (i.e. uncertainty about which “he” died?) might be described as an unclear antecedent.

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