During decoding, the ribosome selects the correct (cognate) aminoacyl-tRNA (aa-tRNA) from a large pool of incorrect aa-tRNAs through a two-stage mechanism. In the initial selection stage, aa-tRNA is delivered to the ribosome as part of a ternary complex with elongation factor EF-Tu and GTP. Interactions between codon and anticodon lead to activation of the GTPase domain of EF-Tu and GTP hydrolysis. Then, in the proofreading stage, aa-tRNA is released from EF-Tu and either moves fully into the A/A site (a step termed "accommodation") or dissociates from the ribosome. Cognate codon-anticodon pairing not only stabilizes aa-tRNA at both stages of decoding but also stimulates GTP hydrolysis and accommodation, allowing the process to be both accurate and fast. In previous work, we isolated a number of ribosomal ambiguity (ram) mutations in 16S rRNA, implicating particular regions of the ribosome in the mechanism of decoding. Here, we analyze a representative subset of these mutations with respect to initial selection, proofreading, RF2-dependent termination, and overall miscoding in various contexts. We find that mutations that disrupt inter-subunit bridge B8 increase miscoding in a general way, causing defects in both initial selection and proofreading. Mutations in or near the A site behave differently, increasing miscoding in a codon-anticodon-dependent manner. These latter mutations may create spurious favorable interactions in the A site for certain near-cognate aa-tRNAs, providing an explanation for their context-dependent phenotypes in the cell.