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When I am Copyeditor General ...: Nothing will dangle. Nothing at all.

Saturday

Nothing will dangle. Nothing at all.

I'm beginning to suspect it's possible to have an entire blog based around things that dangle; modifiers, participles, whatever. They're just so damn prevalent. And it's especially annoying when you understand the intended message and realize the end result is really just laziness.

This sign was in our hotel room in Aruba:



Is the hotel being courteous by thanking us for not smoking? Obviously not; but that's the literal meaning.

And today, this sentence, in (yet another) AP story:



It's a tad small, I know, so let me repeat:

And in Penn Hills, Pa., Nancy Monahan, 54, who creates floor displays for a discount chain, says her "real job" begins in the evening when she returns to her creaky yellow house and her black cat, Maxine, turns on her computer and starts sleuthing.
That, my friends, is one smart cat.

Copyeditor General's ruling: Don't let it dangle. That's how accidents happen.

2 comments:

Laura Matthews said...

haha, I actually thought it was that literal meaning so couldn't see the problem, until you explained that that couldn't be what they meant. duh! they're saying as a courtesy, don't smoke. now I get it.

LimeyG said...

Exaaactly. It just sounds as though they're saying, "We're being courteous by asking you not to smoke."

Glad I can be here to explain stuff to you ...

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