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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Criminal Sentence 208: Working Hard or Hardly Paying Attention

From a book I read lately (the man was grading some bumpy ground):

"After working all day, the ground was approaching level."

Both the sentence and the ground are bumpy here. By now you should know that this is a misplaced modifier. The ground was not working all day.

I'm still waiting to read a book that contains no misplaced modifiers. Seems like an impossible wish.


BDGJM said...

As my blog will surely reveal, I am as guilty of using misplaced modifiers just as much as anyone else. However, when I read the sentence you illustrated, I couldn't tell what the first part of the sentence had to do with the second part. IN this case, the misplaced modifier caused confusion to me.

Tim said...

You'll continue to be frustrated. Copyediting is a disappearing art.