The Fallacy of Amphiboly

There are many fallacies in our arguments. We are going to examine another fallacy today, the Fallacy of Amphiboly (From the Greek, “both sides, double” “speech”).
The Fallacy of Amphiboly occurs in an argument when the premisses are ambiguous because of their grammatical construction. A statement can be amphibolous when the indetermination of the meaning derives from its faulty grammatical structure. An argument with amphibolous sentences is amphibolous.
According to Aristotle, the sophistic arguments are based on ambiguous terms.
An amphibolous statement is true or false according to the interpretation because of the loose grammatical structure. It does not use the word with multiple meanings (Fallacy of Equivocation), it’s the structure of the sentence which, thanks to some defect in the grammar, is open to multiple interpretations. In the strict sense, the Fallacy of Amphiboly occurs when there is an argument.
“Let’s look at this sentence: “”Last night I caught a prowler in my pyjamas””.
We could argue that I found myself face-to-face with a prowler, and what makes this encounter even more peculiar is that I was wearing my pyjamas at the time.
But the phrase “”caught in my pyjamas”” holds a certain ambiguity. Does it imply that I apprehended the prowler while I was wearing my pyjamas, or does it suggest that the prowler himself was wearing my pyjamas? This linguistic uncertainty adds a layer of intrigue to the situation and invites multiple interpretations.”
Another example could be “The anthropologists went to a remote area and took photographs of some native women, but they weren’t developed”. The conclusion we can draw is based on how we understand “weren’t developed”. Does this refer to the photos or to the women?
In both examples, the position of the word in the sentence creates ambiguity and not the fact that the word has different meanings.
This seems a joke and, in fact, many jokes are based on amphiboles – But, what if the faulty statement or argument was used in a will or in a contract? What if someone would benefit in some way from the multiple interpretations possible caused by the fallacy of amphiboly? Then, such an issue would be taken seriously and someone would oppose the document.