Ask Me a Question

If you have a writing, grammar, style or punctuation question, send an e-mail message to curiouscase at sign hotmail dot com.

Add Your Own Criminal Sentence!

If you find a particularly terrible sentence somewhere, post it for all to see (go here and put it in the Comments section).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Poll Results 60

Here was the question:

What is lying on the desk in this sentence? "There are letters from Confederate soldiers lying on a Federal desk."

Letters 42 (50%)
Soldiers 12 (14%)
Could be either 27 (32%)
Neither 2 (2%)

Grammatically speaking, the word "soldiers" comes right before the clause "lying on a Federal desk," so congrats to 14% of you. We all know that the writer meant "letters," but the "from" prepositional phrase got in the way, as it so often does with misplaced modifiers.

Those of you who did not get the right answer, please reread the blog entries that are marked Grammar. You could use a refresher on the dreaded misplaced modifier problem.

No comments: