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Modifiers. And how we misplace, dangle and squint them…. McLean – LA III. Groucho Marx showed us best:. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.

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modifiers

Modifiers

And how we misplace, dangle and squint them…

McLean – LA III

groucho marx showed us best
Groucho Marx showed us best:

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.

CORRECTION: One morning, while in my pajamas, I shot an elephant.

how about this one
How about this one…

FOR SALE: Mahogany table by a lady with Chippendale legs.

Mahogany table by a lady with Chippendale legs.

What they meant to say:

Mahogany table by a lady with Chippendale legs.

slide4

Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.

Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.

Actually trying to say: Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address while traveling from Washington to Gettysburg on the back of an envelope.

slide5

Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter

So these ladies spent 18 years at checkout!?

why does this happen
Why does this happen?

Misplaced and Danging Modifiers

misplaced modifiers
Misplaced Modifiers

A misplaced modifier appears to modify the wrong word in a sentence. They often distort the meaning of the sentence or make it impossible for the reader to understand the meaning. To correct misplaced modifiers, move it closer to the word it modifies.

slide8
1.
  • The man was stopped for speeding in the blue sweater
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • CORRECTED: The man in the blue sweater was stopped for speeding.
slide9
2.
  • I almost saw the whole movie, but I fell asleep around midnight.
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • CORRECTED: I saw almost the whole movie, but I fell asleep around midnight.
slide10
3.
  • Joe promised to mow the lawn running out the door.
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • CORRECTED: Running out the door, Joe promised to mow the lawn.
slide11
4.
  • The initials were those of the lovers carved on the tree.
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • CORRECTED: The initials carved on the tree were those of the lovers.
slide12
5.
  • Every four hours the doctor told him to take the pill.
  • Misplaced Modifier
  • CORRECTED: The doctor told him to take the pill every four hours.
dangling modifiers
Dangling Modifiers

A dangling modifier appears to modify either the wrong word or no word at all because the word it should logically modify is missing from the sentence. To correct a dangling modifier, add the missing word and rewrite the rest of the sentence as necessary.

slide14
1.
  • Hiking the trail, the birds chirped loudly.
  • Dangling Modifier
  • Should be: Hiking the trail, my friend and I heard birds chirping loudly.
slide15
2.
  • Driving in heavy traffic, my head started to ache.
  • Dangling Modifier
  • CORRECTED: While I was driving in heavy traffic, my head started to ache.
slide16
3.
  • Fishing for trout, our boat tipped over.
  • Dangling Modifier
  • CORRECTED: Our boat tipped over while we were fishing for trout.
slide17
4.
  • Driving through the desert at night, the cactuses looked eerie.
  • Dangling Modifier
  • CORRECTED: Driving through the desert at night, we thought the cactuses looked eerie.
slide18
5.
  • When he was three years old, Jerry’s uncle showed him how to fly a kite.
  • Dangling Modifier
  • CORRECTED: When Jerry was three years old, his uncle showed him how to fly a kite.
squinting modifiers
Squinting Modifiers

A squinting modifier is when a modifier is placed between two things that it could reasonably modify, meaning the reader has no idea which one to choose.

squinting modifier ex
Squinting Modifier Ex:
  • Children who laugh rarely are shy
  • So:
    • Children who rarely laugh are shy
    • OR Children who laugh are rarely shy.