Saturday, October 24, 2009
Dangling-Modifier-Editing Queen Contributes Dangling Modifiers
Mindy Philips Lawrence (http://www.freewebs.com/mplcreative) sent me the link to an article on dangling modifiers. Here's an example of a dangler from this article. I like it because it is immediately obvious. We all know, though, that most are far more sneaky.
Clenching his teeth on a cigarette, the baby cried as the evil man snatched him from his crib.
You'll really want to read the entire post. (-: Not for a laugh but for solid advice.
Mindy also sent this link from Purdue University that includes danglers and remedies for each plus a nice discussion:
And she sent these examples: She is the queen editor-of-dangling-modifiers queen! You'll see she differentiates between dangling modifiers and misplaced modifiers. I really see no reason for doing that, though. This is all about editing, not about memorizing grammar terms.
1 -- While driving down the road, a tree hit his car.
2 -- Having been thrown in the air, the dog caught the stick.
3 -- Walking down the street, the trees were beautiful.
4 -- Running for the bus, my book fell in the mud.
5 -- Upon entering the doctor's office, a skeleton caught my attention.
The sentences above are dangling modifiers. Below are samples of misplaced modifiers:
1 -- Covered in wildflowers, Aardvark pondered the hillside's beauty. (The hillside should be covered with flowers, not the aardvark).
2 -- I had to take down the shutters painting the house yesterday. (The shutters are painting the house?)
3 -- A book sat on the table which he had read. (He read the table?)
4 -- Fred handed his paper to his teacher that was late.(Was the teacher late or the paper?)
5 -- The professor posted the notes for the students covered in class. (Were the students covered in class of the notes?)
Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978515870. Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com, where writers will find lists and other helps on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog.