Out of Context

Yesterday while crossing Sheridan Road, a driver stopped at the light poked his head out and asked me, "Did we win the game?" I told him that I didn't know, and continued on my way to the library.

Only afterwards did I thought about how strange an encounter that was. Maybe it's because I'm in natural language processing, but that question has so many hidden contextual meanings, some which were not resolved even when I answered. The biggest among them:
  • Which "game"? He simply used "the game," implicitly making the assumption that there's only one game, and I know which game that is. In fact, I have no clue.
  • Who is "we"? It could have meant Northwestern - in which case I guess we won, since the clock tower was lit up on Saturday night - or it could have meant the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, White Sox, and all the other major/minor league whateverball teams. Or he could have been out of state, and was asking from the opposing side's perspective.
I wonder if he even knew the problems in that. Did he really expect anyone on the street know about his sport preferences, and watched the whateverball game?

Whateverball. Someday I'm going to invent a sport with that name.

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