I'm taking notes on a book I'm reading right now (and more on the book later). The current heading is "Making Visible the Invisible," but I typed it "Making the Visible Invisible," thus reversing the meaning. And it struck me that the error might make a good lesson in a first year grammar-based discussion to illustrate the importance of clarity (and articles), and the use of nouns and adjectives. Something to remember for next term if I'm stuck teaching the non-English based English courses again.
*EDIT: fixed the second statement by switching the visible/invisible order.
Actually, I think those can mean the same thing.
No, you see... oh. Yeah, I get it. Ah well. Still cool as two sentences that have simultaneous opposite and identical meanings.
See, I can't work out how it means the opposite. I am clearly defective.
Well, I guess I could be misinterpreting it. Let's break it down, painstakingly.
Reading 1: The two sentences describe different things. This is my original reading, which basically involved relating the sentences to two processes: 1) You have an invisible object that you are making visible. 2) You have a visible object that you are making invisible.
And each process corresponded to the heading in which the article described the original state (a bit of an assumption on my part, I suppose): Making Visible the Invisible corresponds to 1) and Making Invisible the Visible corresponds to 2).
Reading 2: (I'm presuming your reading here, so correct any mistakes) If you read the adjectives as being applied to the objects simultaneously, then you have "you are making an object visible and invisible." In which case both sentences mean the same, contradictory, thing, and all the articles in the world won't change that.
I realize that this is far more thought into this subject than any ordinary sane person would impart, but it's actually of interest to me at the moment. See, the text in question is a book on design, and the author's main principle is that everyday objects should be simple to use, and how to use them should be obvious from their appearance. Applying the principle to this blog post, I have failed to design an example that conveyed the meaning I wanted it to. Or, to quote him: "if you think something is clever and sophisticated, beware--it is probably self-indulgence."
Ah! I see where it's broken down. In your original post, you moved the article as well as reversing the objects. You didn't write "Making Invisible the Visible;" you wrote "Making the Invisible Visible." Of course, at this point, the word "visible" has lost all meaning for me.
Fixed. Alas, it makes my explanation post even more tortuous. At least this means that my original intention for the post holds.
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