or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Friday, March 31, 2006

Rock Hard

The replacement, apparently

As I wrote a while back, the problem with misplaced modifiers isn't necessarily that they're confusing; most people can easily sort out the intended meaning. No, the real problem with them is that they're unintentionally hilarious, as in this bit from Salon.com's Broadsheet:

The New York Times Home & Garden section today offers an astonishingly credulous little profile of antifeminist icon Phyllis Schlafly, in which Schlafly sort of comes off like everybody's eccentric grandmother. We hear about her happy family ("I've never told my children what to do"), her work shooting machine guns during World War II, her multiple graduate degrees and the home where she lived with her husband (huge, limestone) and the brick colonial she bought after he died.

There's no doubt as to what was really meant, of course, but the way the second sentence is written, it appears that Phyllis Schlafly had a huge limestone husband (with the suggestion that after his death, she replaced him with a brick colonial husband).

I'm sorry if you're sick of hearing me say this, but why doesn't Salon employ a copy-editor or two?


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