What is a dangling modifier?

Today has been dubbed the ‘day of hugs’. πŸ€—

And, funnily enough, hugging has come up in my work this morning by way of a dangling modifier! πŸ”Ž

Moving back, the hug was planted on her from an unwanted source. ❌

Unless the hug is ‘moving back’, this sentence construction is wrong.

‘Moving back’ modifies the first noun. The first noun is the ‘hug’.

If the intended meaning is that the character moves back from an unwanted hug, this sentence needs recasting.

She moved back, the hug planted on her from an unwanted source. βœ”

The hug was planted on her from an unwanted source; she moved back. βœ”

I mean, even these grammatically correct constructions may divide opinion. Some of you may argue against the use of the passive voice. Personally, I think it should stay. The passive voice helps with the idea of lack of agency. This hug ‘was planted’ – she had very little choice.

Some may not like the use of semi-colons in the recast sentences. That’s OK. Each to their own.

Whatever the fix, I think we can all agree that ‘moving back, the hug…’ was incorrect.

❓ Now, whether we are going to move in towards hugs on this national ‘day of freedom’ or retreat from them is another matter!

Let people dangle. Not modifiers.

#CherryEdits #EagleEyedCherry #Editing #Proofreading

Published by clairecherryedits

CherryEdits.com Indie Fiction Specialist. Line Editing. Copy Editing. Proofreading.

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