Sunday, December 02, 2012

hilariously misplaced modifier

I don't mean to rag on Skippy, whose often-brilliant posts on politics and porn I both respect and envy, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Skippy writes with a casual fluency and creativity that leave me breathless, but he does make his share of linguistic gaffes-- often in the form of silly misspellings and skipped words-- and this particular one had me in stitches.

Ever heard of a misplaced modifier? No? Then wander over to my tutoring blog and edumacate yourself at "Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers."

Consider a sentence like "The woman chased the dogs in the police car." (That sentence isn't original to me, by the way.) Note the ambiguity caused by the misplaced modifier (the modifier's in italics): is the woman in the police car, or are the dogs in the car?

Now look at what Skippy wrote:

The basic premise of this message is silly for practical reasons, as well. For those of you who spent too much time in school, I think it's necessary to point out that feminism is a philosophy. It might well be that it is among the finest philosophies ever devised, but that misses an essential point. So far as I'm aware, no philosophy is going to overwhelm a violent oaf with a hard cock that outweighs you by as much as 80 pounds. (modifier italicized)

I'm now imagining a 130-pound woman being chased by an enormous, tumescent, 210-pound penis, all to the strains of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Thunderbolts and lightning! Very, very frightening!

Skippy's a funny writer, even when he's not trying to be.


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