From the Hohlspiegel column of Der Spiegel, which is intended for funny/interesting sentences from other sources:

Drei Wildunfälle: Hase tot, zwei Rehe entkommen.

(Aus dem Schweinfurter Tagblatt)

Does "entkommen" here mean that two deers escaped from the accident, or that they escaped from the forest? Or is it ambiguous?

  • 1
    I think the funny point about this sentence is that one could read it ambiguously. It could also mean that the deer killed the rabbit, then escaped the police. Nov 17 '14 at 20:00

From the original article:

Während in einem Fall ein Hase dafür mit seinem Leben bezahlen musste, konnten in den beiden anderen Fällen die Rehe scheinbar unverletzt entkommen. Am Ortseingang von Dittelbrunn erfasste ein Toyota am frühen Montagmorgen ein Reh, das über die Straße und dann davon sprang. Ein VW-Touran-Lenker war gegen 22.30 ebenfalls bei Dittelbrunn, in diesem Fall in Fahrtrichtung Schweinfurt, unterwegs, als er mit einem weiteren Reh zusammenstieß. Auch hier verschwand das Tier aus eigener Kraft.

According to the source, both deer escaped from the accidents without injury. (Note that 'scheinbar' is misused here; it means "seemingly but not actually", but the writer wanted to express "apparently".)

  • Thanks, I appreciate that you tracked down the source. It would also be nice to assess the original sentence separately, though.
    – boaten
    Nov 15 '14 at 21:34

The sentence itself is ambiguous.

I would assume that the animals escaped from the accident.

However, if I read:

Explosion im Gefängnis: Ein Wärter tot, zwei Gefangene entkommen

then I'd assume that the prisoners escaped from the prison, not from the explosion.

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