Avoid misplacing modifiers.
A modifier, as you might suspect, is any phrase, adjective, or adverb, that modifies a word. Misplacing it results in ambiguity of meaning.
1. During this year, a new organization was founded at our college called the Chess Club. Is the college called the chess club? No.
[For clearer rewrite: A new organization, the chess club, was founded at our college this year.]
2. I only saw him yesterday.
[Possibly this sentence expresses what you meant; probably it does not. Consider the differences in meaning of the following sentences
Only I saw him yesterday.
I only saw him yesterday.
I saw only him yesterday.
I saw him only yesterday.
I saw him yesterday only.
and choose the one that best suits your meaning.]
3. He asked me immediately to write the letter.
[Ambiguous. Clearer: He immediately asked me...; or, He asked me to write the letter immediately.]
4. A fine athlete and a good student, her class honored her by electing her president.
[Misplaced appositional phrase; her class was not the fine athlete and good student. Better: Her class honored her, a fine athlete and a good student, by electing her president.]
See also Dangling Elements ("da") in this handbook.
For more information on misplaced modifiers, refer to The Fifth Deadly Sin: Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
WRITING Conference Hours:
|Mon. - Thurs.||10 a.m. - 10 p.m.|
|Fri.||10 a.m. - 2 p.m.|
|Sun.||noon - 10 p.m.|
Computer lab hours:
|Mon. - Thurs.||8:30 a.m. - 12 a.m.|
|Fri.||8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Sun.||11 a.m. - 12 a.m.|
Call 315-859-4363 or stop by the Writing Center (K-J 152).