Archive for the '<misplaced modifier>' Category

Carmen and a Misplaced Modifier

June 10, 2006

Carmen Electra hosted a Celebrity Poker Tournament in Las Vegas to raise money for the Head to Hollywood charity. Carmen founded the organization after her mother died from brain cancer, which brings patients and their families to Hollywood for a celebrity experience.

The second sentence contains a misplaced modifier. The adjective clause that begins with "which brings patients" should describe the organization, but it is closer to "brain cancer" and therefore appears to modify the disease. Brain cancer does not bring people to Hollywood for a celebrity experience. Head to Hollywood does. To correct the sentence, move the modifier closer to the word it modifies.

Carmen Electra hosted a Celebrity Poker Tournament in Las Vegas to raise money for the Head to Hollywood charity. Carmen founded the organization, which brings brain cancer patients and their families to Hollywood for a celebrity experience, after her mother died from the disease.

The clause now modifies "organization." Notice the change in syntax that moves "brain cancer" to modify "patients" so that the type of disease that the organization raises money for comes earlier in the sentence. This word order strengthens the clarity of the sentence.

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Shiloh, Angelina, Brad, and a Misplaced Modifier

June 3, 2006

A personalized pacifier company sent a $17,000 binky to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt covered in diamonds. If Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were to donate an equivalent amount of money to charity, they would be able to pay for 10,000 safe-delivery kits for women who live in regions without hospitals or clinics.

The first sentence contains a misplaced modifier. Since the phrase "covered in diamonds" immediately follows "Shiloh Nouvel Pitt-Jolie," it appears to describe the baby instead of the binky. Shiloh is probably not covered in diamonds (or else she is most likely very uncomfortable). The binky is covered in diamonds. To correct the sentence, move the modifier closer to the word it modifies.

A personalized pacifier company sent a $17,000 binky covered in diamonds to Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. If Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were to donate an equivalent amount of money to charity, they would be able to pay for 10,000 safe-delivery kits for women who live in regions without hospitals or clinics.