Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book 7 Chapter 9.
Quintilian points out that words are often ambiguous - they are capable of different meanings. He classifies ambiguity into a variety of patterns (Quintilian VII.9.1). Sometimes a word may be used to denote several different items (Quintilian VII.9.2). Sometimes a word which is compound could indicate one thing or several things (Quintilian VII.9.4). Sometimes in Latin the prefix “in” meaning “not” may be confused with the preposition “in.” There are other potentially ambiguous ways of phrasing an idea (Quintilian VII.9.6). The same effect can be caused by placement of a modifier in a sentence (Quintilian VII.9.8). Quintilian illustrates several ways this may happen or be avoided. Quintilian observes that the orator should be certain that his words cannot be misunderstood (Quintilian VII.9.14).