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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Criminal Sentence 107: Is a Tree a Person?

From a book I read yesterday:

"All the job required was a guy who didn't mind sitting in a tree who liked to shoot things."

What a lovely little misplaced modifier: "who liked to shoot things" does not modify "tree." What does it modify, I ask you? Oh, yes, "a guy." This sentence is problematic because, as usual with misplaced modifiers, it's trying to squeeze in too much. How would you break this into two sentences or one that's constructed better?


Jeanie W said...

All the job required was a guy who liked to shoot things and didn't mind sitting in a tree.

Adam James Nall said...

Very good. It reminds me of one of my favourite Stephen Fry quotations:

"I enjoy cooking my children and missing out commas"...

All the best,