Yes, and the relevant question is whether amatogadha should be taken literally or not.
Consider these examples:
- He used Hitchen’s razor to rid himself of his mustache
- He used Hitchen’s razor to rid himself of a bad argument
- He felt the sting of Hitchen’s razor
Context tells us whether we’re talking about an actual razor or not. The third phrase is actually ambiguous, it could mean he cut himself while shaving using a razor belonging to someone named Hitchen, or it could mean he had an emotional reaction to the use of Hitchen’s razor in a discussion with someone.
If one is faced with ambiguity, it’s easy to see that it would not be more correct to choose the literal reading (physical razor) over the idiomatic one (debate heuristic). In this case, you either choose the right one, or one that completely misses the mark.
The only way to know which one is right is to be a really good at English and also have a bunch of implicit knowledge that allows you to understand the context, and thus which reading is correct.
I personally have no idea what the correct way to read amatogadha is, but I know that Ven. Sujato is a Pali expert and has extensive knowledge of the historical context the Pali suttas were composed in. So when he says amatogadha should not be taken literally in a certain context – since he is speaking from his experience as an expert and I am not an expert – I tend to accept that.
Maybe in time I will become an expert as well, and then if I have an expert’s reason to disagree, I will do so