i Shot An Elephant In My Pyjamas Gotcha

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Jocular name for pe necessary for sumti plus (BAI-type modifier) Gotcha.

From the renowned joke by Groucho Marx, which exploits the ambiguity in English avoided by this gotchas otcha:

I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got in my pyjamas, I'll never know...

The former interpretation in Lojban (which doesn't really work, but humour me) would be mi cecla catra lo xanto ne'i lemi sipna taxfu. The latter would be mi cecla catra lo xanto be/pe ne'i lemi sipna taxfu.

mi cecla catra lo xanto ne'i le mi sipna taxfu has a third meaning: the elephant and myself are both inside the pyjamas, and that is where the shooting takes place. The ordinary interpretation would be obtained with something like mi cecla catra lo xanto gi'e dasni le mi sipna taxfu.

Yup, that's why I said it doesn't really work in Lojban. In Lojban, the unattached sumti applies to the entire bridi; in English it's meant to as well, but usually ends up attaching to the subject. -- nitcion


Completely irrelevent: This has got to be the best-named gotcha yet, and is exactly what I need at 7:30am. --Jay

You mean "earelephant", don't you? --phma