Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Joys Of Misplaced Modifiers #4

Okay, this sentence is so very bad that I had to read it three times to figure out what the writer (Robert Gehrke from the Salt Lake Tribune) had done.
Have a look:

Ann Davies was born to Edward Davies, who emigrated from Wales and founded a company that built heavy machinery and married Mitt Romney in 1968.

The way it's currently written, from "who" to "1968" is an adjective clause modifying the noun "Edward Davies."  But there is an adjective clause within an adjective clause: from "that" to "1968."  The second adjective clause modifies the noun "company," which means that the sentence is actually proclaiming that the company founded by Edward Davies both built machinery AND married Mitt Romney in 1968.
Is Gehrke trying to hint that Romney is really, really into the whole big business thing?  :D

But that sentence is not the only one wherein Gehrke seriously garbles his grammar.  Have a look at this little gem:

Mitt Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, was a Mormon polygamist with five wives, who fled to Mexico to escape a crackdown on the practice of polygamy in the late-1800s and established a settlement there.

The way it's worded and punctuated, we get another bizarre adjective clause: from "who" to "there."  The sentence currently states that the five wives fled to Mexico; I doubt that's what the writer meant.

Well, I think we can safely say that Mr. Gehrke needs either more sleep before he writes articles or at least a better copy editor.


  1. This made me laugh so much! Good one.

  2. :) Good laugh for the end of a tiring week.

  3. Writers like this and readers that do not see the errors is one of my husbands biggest pet peeves. Your post made is day when I shared it with him.

  4. Funny

    The title alone was enough to get me rocking.

    Between danglers and disjointed logic/order...I am a horrible critique partner, one who strips the skin off his poor partners.

    You'd like me. *grin*

    (I know I'm late...I missed your blog on Reader and caught it on the back end on my Goodreads email)