Sunday, April 12, 2015

Words Need to Find Their Place, Part 2

Since words and phrases can be misplaced in the beginning, middle, or ending of a sentence, we will look at these one at a time because reveal different writing problems.

Here is an example of a confusing sentence caused by a misplaced idea in the opening: Directing the project expertly, the staff thanked Ms. Davis.

The sentence says that the staff directed the project expertly, but a reader would infer that Ms. Davis directed the project expertly since she was receiving their appreciation. Two better ways of writing the sentence would be:

  • Since Ms. Davis directed the project expertly, she was thanked by the staff.
  • The staff thanked Ms. Davis for directing the project expertly.
When we place dependent phrases or clauses in the beginning of sentences, we need to make sure they are next to the word they modify.