Sunday, April 26, 2015

Words Need to Find Their Place, Part 4

In this final post on misplaced or dangling modifiers, we'll look at ambiguous meanings appearing at the end of the sentence, as we already looked at problems in the beginning and middle of sentences. This is the sample sentence:
Carol works the late shift with pleasure, usually.
The word usually just hangs at the end without a clear reference, as we are left wondering whether it refers to Carol's work shift or to her pleasure. Here are two improvements to the sentence:

  • Carol usually works the late shift, and she enjoys it.
  • Carol usually enjoys working the late shift.
Remembering to edit for this common sentence problem will sharpen the clarity of your message, so be on the lookout for unintended meanings.