Sidestep Those Grammatical Traps!I'm finally reviving the moribund and giving my blog site a more lighthearted tweak. With so much to daunt us as we try to dodge, sidestep, or - in moments of temporary insanity - meet head-on those pointy proverbial slings and arrows of daily life, offering a little levity can be therapeutic. At least, that's my intention. It may fall short because we all have different senses of humor, and some of us have no sense of humor whatsoever.
I'll try to keep on track - that is, stick to topics on writing, editing, publishing, literacy, and children's literature. Other pet interests may push their noses around the corner from time to time if I become too enthusiastic about them, but I can always give them a grammatical bash over the head so they "fit" in.
I also plan to offer my thoughts, and the thoughts of guest bloggers, on a regular basis. I'll start with once a week. How about every Wednesday? I suggest this day for absolutely no particular reason. Your ideas are more than welcome.
In this blog, I'll tackle something I come across all the time in my editorial wanderings: the dreaded dangling modifier. This sneaky grammatical trap is all too easy to fall into. Here's an example:
Sheila caught sight of a kangaroo looking through her binoculars.
Assuming the kangaroo is not that smart, the sentence should read:
Looking through her binoculars, Sheila caught sight of a kangaroo.
Here's another example:
Having offered a few grammar tips, your comments are welcome.
I'm sorry but your comments didn't offer the grammar tips. I did. The correct version is:
Having offered a few grammar tips, I welcome your comments.
Here's a little trash bin of grammatical and stylistic mistakes. Try improving the paragraph yourself. I'd love to see your corrected versions in the blog comments. Alternatively, you can send them to me at maggielyons66 at gmail dot com and I'll publish them, unless the volume of enthusiastic responses is overwhelming. In that case, I'll have to pick and choose. Ah! To dream! In my next blog, I'll explain some of the bloopers here.
Walking through the door, the clock struck thirteen. Confused by so many chimes, it was no surprise Charlene bumped into the wall. With a throbbing head, she tried to lay on her stained and worn-out boyfriend’s sofa where a pile of beer cans were on it. Stomping to the kitchen, she picked up the beer cans, dropping them down on the floor, laughing gleefully as she loudly yelled, “Gotcha, Wayne!” Leaving the kitchen, she passed the clock and rapidly hurled it at the front door that started opening suddenly. She hit a man that was coming in. It was her boyfriend Wayne. “Oops,” she gulped regretfully as she bit her lip. Wayne did not respond as due to the affect of the clock he was laying unconscious, and the clock would not stop chiming continuously.