Say that again

Pill BottleHeart

In a search for heart medication information, I read this this important warning.

Do not take this medication if you have ever had a heart attack without first consulting your physician.

What if I don’t have time to get my physician’s permission before I call nine one one?

But, of course, the message was a warning that anyone with a history of heart attacks should avoid this medication. It’s a simple case of a misplaced modifier.

How about this twisted sentence?

Shoes

 

 

The new student sat in the corner seat wearing blue running shoes.

Wish I could have seen that chair tying its shoes.

Special thanks to Dr. L. Kip Wheeler, Carson-Newman College, Jefferson, Tennessee for these two hilarious examples of misplaced modifiers.

Thief

 

The robber was described as a six foot-tall man with brown hair and blue eyes and a mustache weighing 150 pounds.

That thief must have had a difficult time carrying the mustache and the loot.

 

Dog pulling luggage

 

The time had come to leave at last. Deciding to pack up for college, my dog stared sadly at me as I bustled about the room.

His dog packed up for college? I couldn’t get my dog to put her toys in the box.

My twin and I have spent a few hectic weeks editing short stories for Double Take, our shared memoir about growing up in the California San Joaquin Valley. I know some readers will stumble over that Spanish name, so I decided to insert a simplified hint in the press release.

Vi Parsons and Violet Moore, the Carr Twins, reminisce about their childhood, recounting similar memories of growing up in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley (pronounced san‑ wä‑ˈkēn).

The hint looks out of place following Valley. Where should I add the pronunciation key? I’ll check Wikipedia.

 San Joaquin Valley /ˌsæn hwɑːˈkiːn/

Hmmm. The Wikipedia authors don’t know how to pronounce San Joaquin either.

 

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11 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Editing, Memoir, Reading, Writing

11 responses to “Say that again

  1. Rhonda

    I think before Valley. Can’t wait to read your new book.

  2. Reblogged this on timetowritenow and commented:
    Misplaced modifiers sneak into our writing, but if we catch them, they’re good for laughs. Violet tells us about a mustache weighing 150 pounds, a chair tying its shoes, and a dog packing up for college.

  3. Hilarious. Lord, let me never do that. .

  4. You have an interesting blog here with some brilliant writing advice. The misplaced modifiers gave me a laugh.

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