Calliope Writing


For the Love of All Things Holy, Don’t Let That Modifier Dangle!
July 21, 2015, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Grammar, Language | Tags: , , ,

As an editor, I see a lot of grammatical errors. Using “you’re” when it should have been “your.” “Should of” used instead of “should have.”

And then there’s the dreaded dangling modifier.

Yes, that’s a fancy-sounding phrase, but the issue is a real one (no, not bad enough for you to break out the hand sanitizer and SARS mask).

Before we jump into dangling modifiers, let’s do a quick grammar refresher on modifiers.

modifier definition

Here are a couple of examples to get you in the mood for modifiers:

Disgusted, the zombie spit out the fake brains.

In the above, “Disgusted” is the modifier that describes “the zombie.”

Throwing the pine cone, the sasquatch hoped to confuse its hunters.

In this example, “Throwing the pine cone” is the modifier that describes “the sasquatch.”

Easy-peasy, right? So what the hell is a dangling modifier?

dangling modifier definition

Thanks, sasquatch, for letting us use your fur!

Now the real moment of fun has arrived: FUN EXAMPLES!

Source: someecards

Source: someecards

And now, one from yours truly:

Walking home slowly, the most awesome of all unicorns was on Amanda’s mind.

Source: You're reading words created by her, pal.

Source: You’re reading words created by her, pal.

The moral of the story?

Inkygirl

Source: Inkygirl

In all seriousness, don’t let your modifiers dangle, guys.

Source: You're reading words created by her, pal.

Source: You’re reading words created by her, pal.

It’s just not cool.

Did I help explain dangling modifiers, and do you see how annoying they are? Sound off in the comments below.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

But….but we, poets, are allowed to dangle our modifiers! I mean, the cadence and rhythm of our great work may occasionally call for it 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Poet Rummager

Seriously, these are good reminders here. I love your humorous approach, and that damn cat and unicorn are just so cute!

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Poet Rummager

Thank you! I’m glad you like the cat and unicorn–I was pretty proud of them. 😉

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Katrina Robinson




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