Modifiers

Dangling Modifiers.
A modifier, whether word or a phrase, is supposed to refer to something else in the sentence. A dangling modifier refers to nothing in the sentence, although, sometimes, the reference is implied.

Wrong:

Being arrested, hand-cuffed, mug-shotted, and thrown in a cell with mother-rapers, the cops also refused to give me my phone call.

Better:

After I was arrested, hand-cuffed, mug-shotted, and thrown in a cell with mother-rapers, the cops also refused to give me my phone call.

Wrong:

Over eighteen years of marriage, being refused sex, my self-esteem was damaged by  my beautiful, Chilean wife.

Better:

Over eighteen years of marriage, my beautiful Chilean wife, who refused to doink me, damaged my self-esteem.

Fix:

Being one of the ten richest men in New York, the kitchen in my penthouse apartment has a 36-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator, a 36-inch Wolf gas range and charboiler, an Imperial stainless steel range hood and backsplash, and a built-in coffee and espresso maker.

Misplaced Modifiers

A misplaced modifier is a modifier in the wrong part of the sentence. You can correct this by changing its position.

Wrong:

The unlucky bridegroom was poisoned while eating dinner with a vial of strychnine which mysteriously was mixed with his after-dinner liquor.

Better:

While eating dinner, the unlucky bridegroom was poisoned with a vial of strychnine, mysteriously mixed with his after-dinner liquor.

Wrong:

Friends is one of the most racist shows because the main cast does not include a single black, Hispanic, or Asian actor on TV.

Better:

Friends is one of the most racist shows on TV because the main cast does not include a single black, Hispanic, or Asian actor.

gq-jennifer-aniston.jpg

Fix:

Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.

–Groucho Marx

elephant.gif

Being stuffed with chunks of candied pecans, dinner ended with a giant barfothon.

barfathon.jpg

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