In Cover’s early paper on “Broadcast Channels,” (IEEE Trans. Info Theory, vol 18, no 1, 1972), he writes:
The primary heuristic that we garner from these investigations is that high joint rates of transmission are best achieved by superimposing high-rate and low-rate information rather than by using time-sharing. Novels written with many levels of symbolism provide just one example of a mode of communication that may be perceived at many different
levels by different people.1
1I am soliciting double- and triple-meaning quotes that illustrate this idea. Consider, for example, the reaction of three different people to the following donated story. Buck and Harry led a beautiful maiden into the clearing by a rope tied around her ankle. “Let’s make her fast,” said Buck, “while we have breakfast.” The anonymity of the authors will be protected.
So the meanings I can come up with are (a) “let’s prevent her from eating while we have breakfast,” (b) “let’s bind her tightly while we have breakfast,” and (c) a meaning using a sexual interpretation of “make.” There’s something a bit disquieting about a dirty joke in a journal, especially one with overtones of rape. Nevertheless, I read it as an an interesting example of the ambiguity of language, even though it reifies the old-boy’s club-ness of the field…