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Great Moments in Misplaced Modifiers

July 13th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Culture, Grammar, Internet, Language

Spotted just now in an online customer review for a handheld vacuum:

We have a 2 year old daughter who loves to throw food and her five cousins who ride in the car.

… those poor cousins, being thrown around the inside of a car by a freakishly strong two-year-old!

I hope the grownups at least keep the windows rolled up, so the other kids don’t get chucked right out onto the highway when the throwing-around starts up.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • FScott

    Perhaps not a misplaced modifier but the use of a conjunction instead of a preposition. Upon, toward, around, at, and through would all work well.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Yes, that’s possible as well, if what she meant to say is that the food was thrown at or on the cousins.

    But the last part of the sentence feels tacked on — I think the writer was just too lazy to start a new sentence, and what she really wanted to say was:

    “We have a two-year-old daughter who loves to throw food. Her five cousins ride in the car, too, and sometimes they create messes as well.”

    Or, alternatively:

    “We have a two-year-old daughter and her five cousins who ride in the car. And our daughter is a food-throwing little beast.”

    In any case, the sentence — like the car — is a little bit overloaded.

  • Aaron

    She has brute strength…like a spider, which can lift several times its own body weight…