You know: all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.
(That’s about the extent of what I remember from higher mathematics classes.)
Similarly, all dangling participles (danglers) are misplaced modifiers, but not all misplaced modifiers are danglers. I’ll provide some examples and links. As I’ve said before, I’m very bad at creating poor writing on purpose; when it goes from my brain to my fingers through the keyboard onto the screen, it’s grammatically correct but not necessarily the cleanest copy on the planet. I have a very difficult time purposely making mistakes like these. (Perhaps I should work on that …) Lucky for me (and you), they’ve been corralled elsewhere. I’ll write a couple of my own, and link to more. Continue reading “It’s like squares and rectangles.”
I didn’t expect to find GRAMMARGEDDON! fodder this early in my day, nor did I expect to find it in the blog of a typographer/book designer. But, then again, in my experience typographers aren’t editors, usually. So–on with the post.
Dangling modifiers are annoying creatures. They cause the astute reader to stop and ask questions about what’s being said, questions that wouldn’t occur to the reader if that modifier had been corrected by some method or other. Here’s the one that stopped me this morning:
“As a pastor, commercially available Bible studies were just as bad.”
Hm. The pastor is not a study. The pastor is the person who may well purchase books or studies. The sentence would have been better phrased thus: “As a pastor, I found the commercially available Bible studies were just as bad.” “As a pastor” then modifies–correctly–the subject of the sentence.
The blog entry is one I found very interesting, truth to tell. I’m going to bookmark it, so I can return later and read it thoroughly. You see, just because I find a grammatical error that should really have been caught (even by a piece of software, if not a real live person) does not mean I then invalidate the source entirely and proclaim it to be garbage.
Here’s the link, for anyone who wants to know more about “Writing in InDesign.”