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 Statutory 'ambiguity is a creature not [just] of definitional possibilities but [also] of statutory context.' Brown v. Gardner, 513 U.S. 115, 118, 115 S. Ct. 552, 130 L. Ed. 2d 462 (1994). See also FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 529 U.S. 120, 132-133, 120 S. Ct. 1291, 146 L. Ed. 2d 121 (2000) ('meaning--or ambiguity--of certain words or phrases may only become evident when placed in context' (emphasis added)). That may be so even if statutory language is highly technical. After all, the scope of what seems a precise technical chess instruction, such as 'you must place the queen next to the king,' varies with context, depending, for example, upon whether the instructor is telling a beginner how to set up the board or telling an advanced player how to checkmate an opponent. The dictionary acknowledges that, when interpreting technical statistical language, the purpose of the exercise matters, for it says that 'quantile,' 'percentile,' 'quartile,' and 'decile' are 'terms [that] can be modified, though not always very satisfactorily, to be applicable to . . . a large sample ranked in ascending order.' Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics, at 378-379. 


In his oft-cited opinion ...

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