Thursday, July 26, 2007

dangling modifiers

Also known as dangling participles, these are parts of a sentence that get orphaned from the subject they are meant to modify. Here's a great example sent to me by my friend Laurie (she found it on a charitable organization's website):

Provide a gift of hope with this basket of rabbits and chickens. The eggs from the chickens will provide protein for the hungry children and the rabbits a new source of economic independence.

Adds Laurie: "Unless I'm mistaken, the way this is written has the chickens helping the rabbits. I love it: little bunnies running coops, and selling free-range eggs..."

A better way to write the sentence would be the following:

Provide a gift of hope with this basket of rabbits and chickens. The eggs from the chickens will provide protein for hungry children, and the rabbits will give a family a new source of economic independence.

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