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Dear Miranda: Stupid things I’ve edited

In response to 30 Things To Do As An Old Lady

So I happen to be blogging you right now because Learningsuite is down, and I can’t find out what any of my readings for today are. Not that I wouldn’t have blogged you today, but I would have done it later. Like after I’d had a chance to think about what I was going to blog about. It wasn’t until i actually clicked the new post button and was staring at the blank title area that I realized i had no clue what I wanted to write about. It’s sort of a new problem because before I was in Europe and had all sorts of interesting stuff to write about, so I didn’t really have to think about it.

Now I’m back in Provo and I’m a boring college student. I mean npot entirely boring, because there are lots of cute boys here. And I talk to them. But I’m not going to post about that on the internet where anybody can see! (I’ll call you later with any interesting deets.) So in terms of things to write about that mostly leaves the schoolwork. Lots of reading. Lots of writing. Lots of editing.

And occaisionally we get some interesting things while we’re editing. Of course dangling modifiers are my favorite. Like this one I found in Mike’s paper last night:

“So we grabbed our bag and off to the hospital we went in a rush expecting the baby to come any minute.”

Silly Mike. The rush wasn’t expecting the baby to come any minute.

But there are other fun things in the editing world. There are plenty of cringe worthy sentences to go around.

“A certain window obliterates 20% of the light passing through it.” Because windows obliterate light? Can light be obliterated?

“Police report a rice in crime.” Rice, the most terrifying of all the grains.

“I finally found an editation!” No. You need an editation.

“I looked down at my luminous feet.” There are many ways to describe a foot, and luminous isn’t usually one of them.

“The students brought food to give food to the food bank to give food to families who couldn’t aford to feed their families food.”

My reaction to the above sentence.

My reaction to the above sentence.

Then there was this time the girl forgot an s on the end of assess, but we’ll try not get too into that because I try to keep this blog pretty clean.

So yeah. Even copyediting has it’s funny moments.

Hope school is going well.

Love from the good ole BYU,


P.S. Actually, hot pink is my crazy hair color of choice.


Dangling Modifiers Redux

Yes. We love dangling modifiers.

Dangling Modifiers Made Fun

I decided to throw the word fun in the title because the instant I put a grammar term up there I decreased the odds that people would actually read this by approximately 89.7% (which is a very statistical statistic). Some of you may have clicked this just because such a juxtaposition of the word fun with grammar concepts seems like an oxymoron. I’ll be the first to say that I find grammar somewhat interesting. I’ll also be the first to say that I’m incredibly biased on the matter because my chosen field of study is the English language.

But dangling modifiers are fun. Basically the idea behind them is that based on the placement of a descriptive phrase, you might not be able to tell which object the phrase is talking about. For example: She handed the rattle to the baby that was made of plastic. Is the rattle made of plastic? Or is the baby?

Or: Having been mutilated by the printer, the clerk threw the mangled cards away. Did the printer mutilate the cards or did it mutilate the clerk?

You get the idea. I’m not going to go into great detail on what exactly they are or how to fix them lest I become boring. If you’re DYING to read all about it I suggest this link. What I will do is illustrate some sentences with dangling modifiers for you. Prepare to be blown away by my mad art skills. That’s right. I have the Crayola 120 pack, and I’m not afraid to use it!

"The police arrested a six-foot-tall man with a mustache weighing 300 pounds." That is one heavy mustache! Probably made it hard to flee the crime scene.

You can see herds of elephants flying over Africa.

"An old cigarette advertisement showed a man on a horse smoking a cigarette." Poor horse is going to end up with lung cancer.

"Having rotted in the damp cellar, my brother was unable to sell any of the potatoes." Rotting in a cellar is a bad way to go. And it does seriously impede your potato selling ability.

"My sister left with her date wearing a pink dress and matching heels." I... do not even have a snarky comment for this one.

"She wore a colorful scarf over her shoulders, which she bought in Mexico." For those of you who can't understand the speech bubble either because it's too small or you can't read Spanish, the guy is saying, "Do you want to buy shoulders? They come with a free scarf!"

See, I told you it would be fun! You probably didn’t believe me. Anyway that’s pretty much all I have for this post. So from now on be careful not to dangle your modifiers!