English: dangling modifiers: what are they, and how can they be corrected?

Tutoring English, this topic is a classic. The tutor recalls hearing it decades ago….

A modifier gives more meaning to its sentence, but isn’t the main idea. Some examples (with modifiers in italics):

Sitting around the campfire, we noticed a UFO.

We drank our coffee in silence, waiting for the executives to arrive.

A dangling modifier is one whose reference is vague. Consider the sentence

Lurking among the trees, the zombies appeared.

Who is lurking among the trees – the zombies or the viewers? Perhaps

Lurking among the trees, we watched as the zombies appeared.

or else

Watching the trees, we noticed zombies lurking among them.

clarifies the intended meaning.

HTH:)

Source:

Hodges, Horner et al. Harbrace Handbook for Canadians, sixth ed. Scarborough: Nelson Education Ltd., 2003.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Typing: some dangerous hotkeys (keyboard shortcuts)

The tutor finds the “keys” to missing sections of text.

Especially on a laptop, when I’m typing a post, a chunk of text suddenly disappears. I’ve got in the habit of right-clicking, then clicking undo, to resurrect the accidentally deleted text. If I don’t notice in time, however, I lose that section so have to retype it.

I’ve always known that, unwittingly, I must be hitting a hotkey that causes the deletion of the text. Today I researched the problem, and now I know perhaps some of them:

Shift Home selects from the cursor to the beginning of the line.

Shift End selects from the cursor to the end of the line.

Shift PageUp selects from the cursor to the beginning of the text.

Shift PageDown selects from the cursor to the end of the text.

As howtogeek.com points out: once you select the text, whatever you type afterwards replaces it. You don’t have to purposely delete it.

I’ve tried the four shortcut combinations above: they all work in this context. Clearly, I’ve been unwittingly selecting those combinations. On a laptop, typing in the dark, it’s easy to imagine.

I’ll be talking more about hotkeys in future posts:)

Source:

howtogeek.com

whatis.techtarget.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.