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Dear All:

I am curious the semantics of the following sentence.

Your writing is pretty good.

I have merely one sentence. (Someone asked this sentence on another forum.)
Without the surrounding sentences, would this sentence be ambiguous?
I think that writing might refer to two things: first, the skill of writing; second, a piece of writing, namely, an essay or a composition.

Do I hit the nail on the head? Or am I totally wrong?

I would like to have native English speakers' comments.

Best Regards
Comments  
I'd take "writing" to refer to your mastery as a wordsmith, rather than to the thoughts you managed to convey. I'd agree that it's one or the other, but I'm leaning toward the first.

I guess you know what "pretty good" means. I wouldn't take it as faint praise, unless it's said with a negative inflection, or with negative context.
exodejavuWithout the surrounding sentences, would this sentence be ambiguous?
Almost all sentences in isolation contain something that can be considered ambiguous. We native speakers resolve the ambiguity by means of an internal statistical table that checks all the cases of these usages that we've heard all our lives, and pick the most likely one from the internal table. Emotion: smile

writing -- the content, the thoughts
writing -- the grammar
writing -- the style
writing -- the skill at handling all of the above
writing -- the marks on the page; handwriting

As some great philosopher once said, "Language is notorious for underspecifying reality". Emotion: smile

CJ
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Very much obliged for your explanations and the quote! [8]
The users of the above-mentioned "another forum" always post their questions without context...

-Edit-
CJ, are you the philosopher? Emotion: wink
exodejavuThe users of the above-mentioned "another forum" always post their questions without context...
Well, shame on them! I, for one, am very glad that thatkind of thing never happens on this forum! Emotion: stick out tongue

CJ
exodejavuCJ, are you the philosopher?
No, but thanks for the compliment. It was John Searle, of the University of California at Berkeley, who wrote it -- or something very much like it.

CJ
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Were you there in the sixties? (just kidding) - A.
AvangiWere you there in the sixties?
No. I'm just a plain-clothes hippie. Emotion: smile

CJ