And the groom looked lovely in his Ralph Lauren gown

I love misplaced modifiers.  You can’t beat them for the humor they lend to the English language.

In yesterday’s New York Times, the write-up of the featured wedding of the week contained this sentence:

“The bride wept as she walked toward the groom in a silver Ralph Lauren gown….”  Yet the photos showed the groom in a tuxedo.

Here’s the trick about modifiers:  you need to put them right before or after the word about which they are giving more information.  If this had said, “Wearing a silver Ralph Lauren gown, the bride wept as she walked toward the groom,” the laugh would have disappeared, but we’d be certain who was in the dress.  You could also write, “The bride, in a silver Ralph Lauren gown, walked toward the groom.”

As I said, I love misplaced modifiers.

 

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