Does the phrase "Ferrari engines factory" have theoretically two meanings?

I think that it can mean either of

1- (Ferrari engines) factory = The factory manufacturing ferrari engines

2- Ferrari (engines factory) = Ferrari's factory manufacturing engines

Do you agree with me? If you don't, can you please tell me why?

  • 4
    The word before the main noun factory is a noun adjunct / attributive noun / qualifying noun / noun (pre)modifier / apposite noun. Such usages are usually singular, but in many cases this isn't a hard-and-fast rule, and there's no doubt that even though plural noun adjuncts are relatively less common, they do occur more often today than they did many decades / centuries ago. Whatever - in your specific context, you should definitely stick with singular. May 5 '21 at 15:59
  • 4
    It's irrelevant to consider the "meaning" of the phrase "Ferrari engines factory", because natve speakers wouldn't use that form of words. If it was important to distinguish OP's two possible meanings (unlikely, imho), we'd use more wrds to make the intended meaning clear. May 5 '21 at 16:07
  • 4
    I’m voting to close this question because it's asking about the meaning / possible ambiguity of a form of words that native speakers don't use anyway. May 5 '21 at 16:08
  • 1
    Surely, if the engines are made in the Ferrari factory they are by definition Ferrari engines! May 5 '21 at 16:25
  • 1
    Worth noting that Ferrari don't have a separate 'engine factory'; most of each Ferrari car is produced at their plant at Maranello, with the exception of such things as electrical and electronic items, tyres, seats and windscreen glass, etc. May 5 '21 at 18:06
  1. With 2 seconds thought, I have thought of at least five meanings of "Ferrari engine factory"

  2. You should edit out the typo as it adds further confusion. (There's no "s".)

  3. English is ubiquitously, overwhemingly, stunningly, amazingly, ambiguous.

  4. Almost every, if not literally every, sentence or fragment in English is ambiguous, usually heavily so.

  5. Every single sentence and fragment on this page (just for example) is heavily ambiguous.

  6. Mentioning the ambiguity in an English sentence or fragment is like mentioning that the sun rose today.

The answer to your question is "Yes, you're right."

(Note that the word "theoretically" in your opening sentence, is confusing / meaningless. It "does" have many meanings. There's no theory or abstraction involved.)

  • Your points: 3,4,5 and 6 are just basically, overwhelmingly, earth shatteringly, without any ambiguity, just saying the same thing. It's that simple! Just say it in one sentence instead of repeating it several times. I like the enthusiasm and the exuberant display of language but you do literally tend to repeat yourself. It's like you need to reinforce the concept. You don't have to be so obvious.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 6 '21 at 7:41
  • Just kidding 😁😁😁 P.S What were the 5 different meanings? To tell the truth I was hoping to see that in the bullet points.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 6 '21 at 7:41
  • Thank you first of all. I also think that we may hyphen to solve the ambiguity. For the first meaning, It can be re-edited as "A Ferrari-engine factory"
    – Jawel7
    May 6 '21 at 11:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .