Tag Archives: misplaced modifiers.

More on Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced modifierMy last post from Violet’s Vibes had examples of misplaced modifiers. Here a few more from Bonnie Trenga’s book, The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier, a Writers Digest Book. She explains that  since a modifier usually describes the nearest noun, when it ends up next to the wrong word, it becomes misplaced. Here are some examples from her book:

“After robbing the bank, a plane took the thief to the Bahamas.”  So the plane robbed a bank?

Corrected: “After robbing the bank, the thief flew to the Bahamas.”

“As a law-abiding citizen, red lights never get run when I’m around.” Red lights are law-abiding citizens?

Corrected:  “As a law-abiding citizen, I never run red lights.”

“The stranger in the ugly coat I honked at turned out to be my traffic court judge, so I later regretted being rude.” She honked at the ugly coat?

Corrected: “I honked at a stranger in an ugly coat, but I later regretted being rude because he turned out to be my traffic court judge.”

If you find some misplaced modifiers in your writing, send them in to the comments. Examples are fun.

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Say that again

Misplaced modifiers sneak into our writing, but if we catch them, they’re good for laughs. Violet tells us about a mustache weighing 150 pounds, a chair tying its shoes, and a dog packing up for college.

Violet's Vibes

Pill BottleHeart

In a search for heart medication information, I read this this important warning.

Do not take this medication if you have ever had a heart attack without first consulting your physician.

What if I don’t have time to get my physician’s permission before I call nine one one?

But, of course, the message was a warning that anyone with a history of heart attacks should avoid this medication. It’s a simple case of a misplaced modifier.

How about this twisted sentence?


The new student sat in the corner seat wearing blue running shoes.

Wish I could have seen that chair tying its shoes.

Special thanks to Dr. L. Kip Wheeler, Carson-Newman College, Jefferson, Tennessee for these two hilarious examples of misplaced modifiers.


The robber was described as a six foot-tall man with brown hair and blue eyes and a mustache weighing 150 pounds.

That thief must have had a…

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