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).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Criminal Sentence 531: A Man in Lingerie

From a book I'm reading:

"Dressed only in a t-shirt and panties, he then dragged her to his car."

I did a double take on that one.

Let's fix it:

"Dressed only in a t-shirt and panties, she was then dragged to his car."

I don't usually advocate using passive, but this seems to me the best way to fix it so there's no suggestion he was wearing panties.

2 comments:

Val Span said...

I suppose a man who likes to wear panties is not the type to be dragging someone to his car...

Warsaw Will said...

Surely it depends on the preceding sentence. Who is the centre of attention? That 'then' suggests that he is, and that there's a sequence of events going on.

I've nothing against the Passive, but I think it is, ironically, too 'passive' here. It's taking attention away from the fact that it is him who is doing the dragging. So how about:

He then dragged her to his car, dressed as she was in only a T-shirt and panties.