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Mary announced to all that she has successfully communicated with the clients via email.

It is said that this sentence is ambiguous and it has two meaning.
The first meaning is Mary said she use email to communicate with her clients successfully.
I am not sure what the second meaning is. Can somebody give me a hand? Thank you.
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Addendum. Back in 2014 my first attempt was wrong. I'm correcting it now because I just stumbled over this old thread while searching for something else.

1. Mary announced to all
[ that she has successfully communicated with the clients via email. ]

2. Mary announced to all
[ that she has successfully communicated with the clients ]
via email.

It's a matter of whether the announcement to all was by email or the communication with clients was by email.

CJ

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Comments  
The meaning you give is the only one I see that makes sense.
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Thank you for your reply.
I am wondering if the second meaning is Mary said that she successfully communicate with the clients who use email.
No, via means by means of, or using, or by way of. It does not mean who use. Via here has to refer to Mary's use of email.
If you replaced via with using in the original sentence you could have the potential for ambiguity, in that clients using email could mean clients who use email.
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Your explanation is clear.Thank you blue jay:)
AnonymousI am not sure what the second meaning is.
Only a grammar-robot would detect it, but one other meaning is that Mary announced the clients via email. That is, she announced, for example, the list of names of those who were chosen to be clients. The people she announced this to were all (the people) that she has (ever) successfully communicated with.

It's absurd to derive this meaning from that sentence, of course, but it's just possible theoretically.

CJ
CalifJim it's just possible theoretically.
I had to work at that, but you are right; it's possible, theoretically.
CalifJimIt's absurd to derive this meaning from that sentence
I agree.
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CalifJimOnly a grammar-robot would detect it, but one other meaning is that Mary announced the clients via email. That is, she announced, for example, the list of names of those who were chosen to be clients. The people she announced this to were all (the people) that she has (ever) successfully communicated with.
You're right. When I looked at it to start with, I saw "Mary announced to all that she has successfully communicated with" as a possible clause, but I failed to see how "the clients via email" could form a clause by itself. It's such a contrived interpretation that it doesn't really qualify as a legitimate possible meaning though. Emotion: smile
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