A punctuation ambiguity is something that is VERY powerful in its “mind-fading” ability.
On it’s own, it will cause people to think their brains went offline for a second.
Which happens to us all the time anyway.
We’re listening to somebody talking, and our brains take a quick holiday without telling us.
Then they come back and we have to ask the person to repeat themselves.
This is pretty funny when you’re with friends, but kind of embarrassing if you’re in a meeting at work.
So when you use the punctuation ambiguity, your listener will think that’s what happened.
So you can have fun, gently pushing their brain offline over and over, or you can use it to build some REAL confusion, and slip in all kinds of ideas and commands.
The punctuation ambiguity is pretty simple. The trick is to deliver it like you are saying something perfectly normal.
If you smirk or smile, they’ll KNOW you’re the one playing with their brains.
The first couple of times you may be a bit nervous. So it’s a good idea to practice these on bartenders or waiters.
(Just be careful, a friend of mine tried this on a waitress and she messed up his order…)
But once you get comfortable with this, you can use one of these every couple of minutes, and by the end of a regular conversation, whoever you are talking to will wonder if they tripped and fell inside of a wormhole or something.
Anyhow, here’s how you make one.
Just take any regular sentence, and take the LAST WORD in the first sentence, and make it the FIRST WORD in the next sentence. Ideally the conversation should flow into the first sentence, past the ambiguity, and then on after the next sentence.
The other day I was shopping for shoe stores are starting to disappear since everybody is buying things online. I wonder what they’ll do with all that empty space?
They will feel a “topic change” since you’re talking about something different, but they won’t remember HOW you changed.
So they’ll try and “replay” what you just said, WHILE trying to listen to you talk.
Eventually they’ll say, “Wait, what?” with an embarrassed look on their face.
What happens next is up to you.
You can pretend you didn’t know, and keep talking about the SECOND TOPIC (empty malls in the example above).
If you keep dropping these in every couple of minutes, it will have a powerful effect on their brain.
And if you can work in some of the other patterns, so much the better.