Dangler examples

Examples of non-canonical SPARs — traditionally labeled dangling modifiers or danglers — over the years, from various sources, organized into groups according to the sources.

Many of the examples are coded for possibly relevant properties, according to the following scheme:


form of adjunct:

AGE: “at age” examples (incl. “at the age of” and “aged”)
APP: appositive
ASA: “as a N” examples
AFTER: “after TimeSpan” examples (with understood spending or the like)
COMPR: comparatives with “more”
LIKE: “like NP” examples (plus LIKE(as))
UNLIKE: “unlike XP” examples
WITH: “with” examples
WOUT: “without” examples
SUB(x): subordinator example (with subordinator x)

PRP: present participle – (HV if having, BE if being)
PSP: past participle
ADJ: adjective (phrase)
PP: prepositional phrase
NP: noun phrase
(mod): ADJ, PP, or NP with adverbial modification

location of adjunct:

I: initial
M: medial
F: final – (SUM) if summative

location of controller:

POSS: controller is possessive in Poss+Nom subject
OFPOSS: controller is possessive in N+of-Poss subject
COORD: controller is one conjunct within subject
OBJ: controller is object – (EXP) if experiencer
EMB: controller is more deeply embedded in main clause
CON: controller supplied from previous context
0: controller not in linguistic context

nature of controller:

1P: controller is speaker/writer
1PI: controller is inclusive 1pl – speaker/writer plus addressee(s)
2P: controller is addressee(s)
GEN: generic controller
3P: third-person controller

subject of main clause:

IT: subject of main clause is dummy or circumstantial it
THERE: subject of main clause is existential there
IMP: zero-2P subject in imperative

acceptability of example:

OK: AMZ judges example to be fine

From Andrea Burbank April 2003

markups: #NC: needs context; #UN: AB is unsure about the example

AB1. ASA-I-EMB-2P As a college student or potential college student our judges expect you to use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and upper/lower case.
Scholarship application form

AB2. PRP-I-EMB-3P-IT Growing up in a vastly different time, facing new technological and societal pressures, it is striking that Van Dusen sets his attention on precisely the same issues as Thoreau.
PWR 3 [Stanford writing course] paper, classmate

AB3. PRP-I-GEN-0 Even leaving aside the question of a universal concept of ‘goodness’, is the majority any better prepared than the individual is to pass moral judgment?
PWR paper

AB4. SUB(although)-PSP-I-3P Although touched upon in the 1932 Uniform Law, the aforementioned report claims that marijuana was not fully addressed until the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, under pressure from the newly appointed Commissioner Anslinger of the Bureau of Narcotics.
PWR paper

AB5. SUB(after)-PRP-I-POSS-3P After wading through a long, quasi-academic examination of the statistical links between intelligence, character, race and poverty, the reader’s reward is a hoary lecture on the evils of the welfare  state.
New York Times C19 Oct. 27, 1994
“BOOKS OF THE TIMES; It’s a Grim Message: Dummies Fail More Often” By PETERPASSELL

AB6. SUB(once)-PSP-I-0-3P #NC Once hooked on interviewing his wife, degradation proceeds swiftly.
New York Times A19  April 2, 1991
“A Basket of Eels, Perhaps?” Russell Baker.

AB7. APP-NP-I-POSS A relative newcomer (we just found her name on the Internet today),  Bush’s lack of baggage may be an asset for 2004.
New York Times A35 November 14, 2002
“‘Bush’ in 2004?” By Andy Borowitz

AB8. ASA-I-POSS-3P “As a renovator, John’s true gift lies in his respect for the process  of decay.”
Michael Cunningham, qtd. in New York Times F1 Oct. 24, 2002
“At Home with Michael Cunningham,” John Leland.

AB9. ADJ-I-POSS-3P Frightened and disoriented, her blank eyes stared at the ambulance’s  ceiling this afternoon as she muttered a single phrase.
New York Times A11 April 18, 2002
“Back in Jenin, Refugees Hope to Find Survivors, “ David Rohde

AB10.  PRP-I-3P “Working together, America has done well”, Bill Clinton

AB11.  PRP-ADJ-I-EMB-1P Standing here in the epicenter of pre-Christmasism, laden with shopping bags of merchandise that proves my worth both as a provider  and conspicuous consumer, a nagging thought intrudes: Is this the way I want to spend my leisure time?
William Safire, On Language, NYT Magazine 18; Dec 26, 1999

AB12.  ADJ-I-CON-3P Technologically speaking it had no rivals
Mercedes-Benz ad, qtd. in Safire, “On Language: The Bloopie Awards.”
NYT Magazine Nov 6, 1994

AB13.  #UN To truly dangle, however, they point out that the participle must have no attachment to the subject at all, as in “Lying in the sun, the heat felt good.”
NYT Magazine Dec 8 1991, p. 26 – Safire, “On Language: Nifty Gifties”

AB14.  PRP-I-0-IT “By using this address information correctly,” the Postal Service  writes, “it will enable new automation equipment to sort your mail to it’s proper destination.”
qtd in Safire, “On Language: Mailbag,” NYT Magazine June 9 1991, p. 12.

AB15.  PRP-ASA[?]-I-0-THERE #NC ‘Speaking as an old friend, there has been a disturbing tendency in statements emanating from Peking to question the good faith of  President Reagan on issues like Taiwan and the tennis star.’’
Nixon, qtd. in Safire June 19, 1983 “On Language: Dangling Man,” NYT Magazine p. 8

AB16.  ASA-NP-I-0-IT As physicians it is important to be educated about alternative modalities in order to knowledgeably and confidently advise patients. University of Health Sciences Integrative Medicine Club

AB17.  ASA-ADJ[?]-I-1Pl-POSS-IT As rational human beings, it is our right to choose the option that is best for us.
“The Straight Dope on Hemp,” Don Waters,

AB18.  ASA-I-CON-IT And further, as rational people, it makes sense to do unto others as  you want them to do unto you — the Golden Rule.
“John Locke,” http://members.aol.com/menick/locke.html

AB19.  ASA-NP-I-EMB-1Pl #NC As college students, it’s often enough for us to try and get our  classwork done, carry on an acknowledgeable social life and, perhaps, maintain a job.
“Bush Cheapens Charity,”

AB20.  ASA-NP-I-0 As college students, it is true that Boston College is an expensive institution, but so are all other prestigious institutions of higher  learning, most especially in expensive areas like the Northeast.
“BC Experience Well Worth the Money”

AB21.  ADJ-F-CON-3P Left fielder Garret Anderson said that not only is the Metrodome a challenge when looking up, it can be looking down, too, because of  the turf, one of three plastic AL surfaces still left.

AB22. #UN “Twins looking for dome-field advantage ,” Mel Antonen, USA Today

AB23.  SUB(yet)-PRP-I-EMB-3P Yet, looking up, it seemed the ice sloped away from her, that she had  fallen through a thin layer of ice into a cavern as large as a world. http://portal.stodge.org/n344.html

AB24. #NC PRP-M-0-IT “Revealed is the lift shaft and peering down, it is possible to see  the lift speeding upwards.”

AB25.  PRP-I-3P-IT Peering down, it took her a few moments to locate her target but there could be no mistaking it.
“The Forest,” http://www.bookradio.com/books/0609603825/html/firstchapter.html

AB26.  PRP-I-0-GEN Peering through the window it didn’t look like a music venue, just a popular wine-bar.
Bill Stone, Steve Lawson, The Troubadour March 12, 2000

AB27.  PRP-I-0-GEN-IT Looking carefully, it is possible to see angles where roofs, long since gone, were once sealed and joined to the main structure. “Looking at a Castle,”

AB28. SUB(and)-PRP-I-0-GEN-IT And thinking ahead, it is troubling to think that a President McCain could employ similar stereotypes while in the nation’s top office.
Erin Perucci/University of Virginia-Cavalier Daily

AB29.  #NC SUB(in)-PRP-I-EMB-1Pl-IT In thinking critically, it is not further thought that leads us away from these nonsensical possibilities.

AB30.  ASA-NP-I-0-IT As educators, it is sometimes the easiest task to focus on the mastery of skills.
Susan Galis, Ed.D.

AB31. #UN PP-I-3P At the suggestion of her lawyers, Castaneda gathered together a box of shredded papers and upon analyzing the papers it has been concluded that they included information over Jedi II and Raptor  partnerships.
Enron Memorandum, http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~ld223700/esp/enron.doc

AB32.  ASA-NP-I-POSS-1Pl-IT As educators, it is our belief that students must first master operating systems such as UNIX and LINUX before parallel processing can fully be understood and mastered.
“Parallel Processing,”

Click to access ParallelProcessing.PDF

AB33.  ASA-I-POSS-1Pl-IT As children, it helps to validate our feelings as real. As adults, it serves much the same function — particularly when we have to try and  try again to broadcast our feelings, experiences, and selves in a  format that others are willing to receive and mirror back.
“A Preemie Child: WhenYour Parents Won’t Listen,” By Allison Martin, MPA

AB34.  ASA-I-POSS-1Pl-IT As parents, it is our responsibility to detect changes in our child’s routine and in the way they handle their feelings.

AB35.  ASA-I-POSS-1Pl-IT “As doctors, it doesn’t cross our consciousness that the patient might not make it,”
Dr. Bob Arnold, University of Pittsburgh,

AB36.  PRP-I-0-GEN-IT Looking closely, it appears that the people at the receiving ends of these streams are pleased to get the products, as if they need and  want them.

AB37.  SUB(by)-PRP-I-0-GEN-IT By looking closely, it is possible to even see fire scars from the previous year across the image.

AB38.  PRP-I-OBJ-1P-IT Speaking from personal experience, it has recently become almost impossible for me to spend any length of time around certain  electrical items.
“An Overview of Clairaudience,” by Saau Hatshepsut

AB39.  SUB(by)-PRP-0-GEN-IT By properly analyzing the evidence it confirms that the death penalty is a proper form of punishment.

AB40. PRP-I-0-1P-IT Speaking from personal experience, it’s something every student should consider.
Deborah Eastman, Assistant Prof of Biology, Southwestern University

AB41.  SUB(after)-PRP-I-0-GEN-IT After analyzing the results, it is clear that the new systems and processes are ready to be implemented.
Implementation of New Payroll System,

AB42.  PRP-I-POSS-1P-IT Speaking from the heart, it seems this is the first time in my life when I really feel good about myself.
“Education: The Key to Rehabilitation,”

AB43.  PRP-I-0-GEN-IT Thinking carefully, it becomes difficult to find any government bureaucracy in history that has shrunken.

AB44.  SUB(however)-PRP-I-0-1P-IT However, speaking from my own experience, it is incredibly difficult to know the marginal benefit of some drugs when one’s public health  people are very busy and are trying to give a measured view. Lord Hansard, UK Parliament,

AB45. SUB(upon)-PRP-I-0-GEN-IT Upon analyzing the situation, it seems plausible that more darts will  land on the dartboard than on the part of the square backing that is  not covered up.
“Estimating Pi,” http://math.ucsd.edu/~tmcelroy/183project1.html

AB46.  SUB(after)-PRP-M-0-1P-IT Yet later, after sitting down and honestly analyzing the circumstances, it became obvious how tender the heart is and how the gospel, not men, has affected that heart.
“Road to the Cross,” Graham Walker

AB47.  SUB(in)-PRP-I-0-GEN-IT In analyzing the evidence, it is necessary to draw meaningful inferences and allow reasonable conclusions about the individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

AB48. #NC SUB(when)-PSP-I-EMB-3P-IT When given the possibility of not thinking analytically, it seems like the operator happily gives analytical problem solving a miss.

AB49.  SUB(in)-PRP-I-0-GEN-IT In analyzing the evidence, it seems clear that Ms. Woolnough’s belief that the superintendent was angry at her and glared at her was  seriously affected by her preexisting, symptomatic psychiatric conditions and not caused by the actions of her employer.

AB50.  PSP-I-EMB-3P-IT Given their success, it is ironic that geneticists are actually experiencing a data crisis.

from Gregory Stump’s The Semantic Variability of Absolute Constructions (1985)

“Unrelated adjuncts show extremely diverse control properties.  An unrelated adjunct may, as in (25)-(28), be controlled by some contextually salient individual who may or may not be referred to in the superordinate clause; it may be controlled by the speaker(s), as in (31) and (32); it may be controlled by the fact or event described by the superordinate clause, as in (33) and (34); or it may express an epistemic condition in whose light the superordinate clause is or would be true, as in (29) and (30).”

GS1. (25) Having received only an elementary education, the simple teachings and colourful ritual had appealed to her.

GS2. (26) Having done either of the above his turn is ended unless he uses all tiles on his rack… or if he accumulates 9 points in one stack.

GS3. (27) Her mother too had expressed incredulity, but being the sort of woman she was, that was only to be expected.

GS4. (28) I want them to vote their conscience on the great issues of the platform and then on the nomination, and I’m still very confident that, voting on their conscience, we’ll gain the nomination and go on.

GS5. (29) Considering the enemies of citrus as a whole, it is no wonder that the trees people keep in their yards for ornamental effect seemed–to me, at least–to be the sorriest-looking trees in the state.

GS6. (30) A number of people, including some of Kennedy’s friends, and even some of his staff, have become puzzled about what he thinks he is doing.  Leaving aside the style in which he is doing it, the question is not so puzzling.

GS7. (31) The laird simply has no wish to be the animated exchequer of an insular, private, picayune welfare state–or, to give the situation its full setting, a welfare state within a welfare state.

GS8. (32) The Carter people insisted then, as they insist now, that the interest groups assembled were not and are not reflective of the Party as a while, to say nothing of the country.

GS9. (33) … now it has almost three million, making it the largest city in the country after New York and Chicago.

GS10. (34) With daily flossing, bleeding should stop, indicating that gums are getting healthier.

from MWDEU (1989), dangling modifiers, p. 314f.

(p. 315) Conclusion: dangling modifiers are common, old, and well-established in English literature.  When the meaning is not ambiguous, Bryant 1962 allows them to be “informal standard usage.”  The evidence in Hall 1917 and other sources shows they are not infrequent in literature of a more elevated sort.

MW1.PRP-I-CON  Drake continued his course for Porto Rico; and riding within the road, a shot from the Castle entered the steerage of the ship.  [Thomas Fuller, The Holy State and the Profane State, 1642 (in Hall 1917)]

MW2.PRP-I-0-1P  Speaking as an old friend, there has been a disturbing tendency in statements emanating from Peking to question the good faith of President Reagan.  [Richard M. Nixon (cited by William Safire, N.Y. Times Mag., 19 June 1983)]

AMZ list 1, entered 4/3/01

Z1.1.  [e-mail list, 3/6/00] He seems a somewhat sinister, charismatic character…(a joker, one of his books is called “Venus’s Penises”…)

Z1.2.  [Publishers Weekly, 3/20/00]  Ever the boisterous class clown, the company’s proudest marketing moment comes when…

Z1.3.ASA-1P-OK  [Stanley Peters, In Memoriam Jon Barwise, 2000]  As a linguist, what struck me especially about his work on meaning in natural language was his belief that…

Z1.4.  [e-mail list, 5/30/00]  Having formerly worked in book conservation, here’s some advice on your grandmother’s hymnal…

Z1.5.  [interviewee on KALW, 6/1/00]  Being six feet, a lot of people assumed I was aloof or arrogant.

Z1.6.PRP(HV)  [e-mail to me, 6/3/00]  I really enjoyed the word picture you painted of the cy[m]bidium garden.  That is hard to imagine, having lived all my gardening life here in Ohio.

Z1.7.ASA  [e-mail list, 7/6/00]  As a straight woman, it’s the most comfortable environment ever, on a personal level.

Z1.8.  [NPR story on Cubans whose plane crashed and who were brought to Florida, 9/22/00] Once there, the more favorable Cuban Adjustment Act took precedence.

Z1.9.  [All Things Considered report, 12/14/00]  Besides being neat,…geologist [NN] says that hydrothermal vents…

Z1.10.ASA-OBJ-1P-OK  As a mathematician, people often ask me… (Keith Devlin, AAAS meeting, 2/17/01)

Z1.11.ASA-1P-OK  As first assistant, the company was placed in my charge, a heavy responsibility I would like to have had placed on someone else. (W.H. Brewer, Up and Down California in 1860-1864, p. 11)

AMZ list 2, entered 11/7/02 and thereafter

Z2.1. [New York Times, 4/20/01, p. A1, story by Jennifer Steinhauer on nightclubs hiring ambulances for overdoses, quotation attributed to Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington] “By using private ambulances, it makes it more difficult for us to keep track of how many people are going to the hospital and it keeps it difficult for the police to find out what is going on because they are never called with these companies,” he said.

Z2.2. [Brewer, p. 105, on whales] Last year they caught one ninety-three feet long which made over a hundred barrels of oil.  After stripping off the blubber, the carcasses are towed out into the bay, and generally drift up on the southeast side.

[cf. non-dangling, p. 129] On striking the valley that leads up to Monterey for about sixteen miles we had hotter air, but not much dust.

Z2.3. [Brewer, p. 93] In passing over this country, every hill and valley presents a new view of these trees.  [the paragraph is about oak trees]

Z2.4. [Brewer, p. 129] I took one of the team mules to ride, being stronger than my little one.

Z2.5. [adv. for Nova program on KTEH-TV, 5/10/01] By inserting just one gene, our food can grow bigger.

Z2.6.LIKE  Unlike earthquakes, geologists usually can give advance notice of volcanic eruptions. (science reporter on NPR, 10/26/01)

Z2.7. SUB(when)-PRP-I-GEN-OK  When addressing invitations to a husband and wife whose name is supposed to go first? (Will Parsons e-mail to friends, 10/30/01)

Z2.8.ASA-OK  As a lawyer, people ask me for advice all the time. (Berg & Associates tv commercial, seen 11/01)

Z2.9.ASA-2P-OK  As a screenwriter, I guess you know why I have to ask (dialogue in a Matlock episode; youis controller)

Z2.10.ASA [KQED commentary, 1/21/02] As a child growing up in Mexico, my parents always told me…

Z2.11.LIKE [Wm. A. McNamara, “Making a Last Stand: Acer pentaphyllum”, Pacific Horticulture 63.2 (Apr.-June 2002), p. 35] Like many enthusiastic nurserymen, maples caught my attention early on.

Z2.12. [local opinion piece on KQED Morning Edition, 7/30/02, about the end of the life of a beloved pet dog – not quite verbatim] Unable to stand on his own legs, I carried him to the beach…

Z2.13. [Laura Flanders, Working Assets Radio, KALW, 8/7/02] Tara, listening to you this last hour, you’re not alone…

Z2.14.  SUB(by)-PRP-I-CON&EMB-OK  By choosing to smoothe out her style, we find that Kim is also… (Emma Moore, NWAV talk at Stanford, 10/11/02)

Z2.15.ASA-I-1P-OK  As a former English teacher, nothing could be sweeter than to hear my little girls begin to speak. (Julie Aigner-Clark, Parents’ Guide for the Baby Einstein Language Discovery Cards (collected 11/02))

Z2.16. [David V. Milligan. “Reflections”, in Princeton Class of 1962 40th Reunion Yearbook (2002)]  Reflecting on my life, accomplishments and the future, it is clear to me that these are the best of times personally.

Z2.17.LIKE [local opinion piece on KQED, 11/7/02] Like any child, my one goal in life was to…

Z2.18.ASA [film maker interviewed on NPR, KQED, 11/7/02] As a movie producer, what you try to do is anything that makes you feel…

Z2.19. [David Rockefeller, in interview on NPR’s Saturday Morning Edition, 11/23/02] By giving out shiny dimes,… it gave him [John D. Rockefeller] an excuse to meet them [ordinary people]…

AMZ list 3, entered 4/4/04 and thereafter

Z3.1. [from GKP, restaurant reviewer Josie Cowden in Good Times (Santa Cruz), 9/28/02] Served with the most marvellous risotto of velvety smooth rice and artichokes, I savored every bite.

Z3.2. [from GKP, Cowden again, 10/3/02] But is the food any good?  Yes it is.  Meandering in at about 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday — somewhere  between breakfast and brunch — the place was packed.

Z3.3. [from GKP, letter writer “Henry Root”, in The Complete Henry Root Letters] I read recently that Miss Mary Kenny is doing you a book on God. That’s one to look forward to! Well done!  Will it be in the shops in time for Christmas?  That’s always a good idea.  Catch the mugs with money in their pockets and long shopping-lists.  Promoted with verve I can see this one being as big a stocking-filler as Ronnie Barker’s ‘Book of Bedtime …’

Z3.4. [from GKP, “from a memo by a man of fastidious grammatical tastes” on the UCSC staff, reported 1/24/03]

In order to get the special DSL provider pricing from DSLx go to their website […] and follow these steps to get the $39.95/mo. package
1. Select SBC as your phone company […]
2. Agree to the terms and you should be directed to a sign up page […]]
[…] 16. Put the words UCSC PROMO in the “additional notes” field. […]
Put your name in the bottom field and “Submit Order”
Once submitted a new web page will give you a “thank you for placing your order” screen with a charge of about $16

Z3.5. [from RH. “From the weekly movie sheet of synopses (13-19 Feb 03) put out by our local [Brisbane, Australia] cinema, concerning ‘Maid in Manhattan’”]  Jennifer Lopez stars as Marisa, a maid in a fancy New York City Hotel.  While trying on a wealthy woman’s dress, a handsome and rich politican mistakes her for a society woman. Marisa goes through a transformation when she falls in love with the man.

Z3.6.LIKE [letter in Palo Alto Daily News, 2/19/03, p. 8] Dear Editor: I would like to express my support for the City Council’s adoption of an anti-war resolution.  Like many cities across California and the nation, I believe the Council is a legitimate forum for the expression of public opinion.

Z3.7.  AFTER [Aaron Kipnis, Angry Young Men (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999),  p. 130. Kipnis is describing his bad-boy time on the streets, in jails, etc. here, it’s the Visalia County (CA) Jail]   After more than a month in jail, my mother posted bond, bless her soul.  The first round of trials…

Z3.8. [from Chris Potts, from Angelika Kratzer, “The lumps of thought”, Linguistics and Philosophy 12.607-53 (1989)] Hence the proposition expressed by (9a) is lumped by the proposition expressed by (9d) in our world.  (9a), however is not compatible with the antecedent of the counterfactual expressed by (10a).  Seen in this way, we cannot consistently add the proposition expressed by (9d) to the antecedent of our counterfactual.

Z3.9.AGE [Angry Young Men, p. 203.  It’s at the very beginning of a section] At age nineteen, a successful jazz musician, Emil Richards, who was active in SIMS [Student’s International Meditation Society, at UCLA], took me in to live with his family.

Z3.10. [review on NPR’s Fresh Air, 3/21/03, of the rapper Fifty Cent; a fair amount of intro discussion about him immediately preceded this]  Signed by Columbia Records in 1999, his first album was never released.

Z3.11. [from RH, Noosa Weekender, 2/21/03, editor’s note] Born and bred in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast was always my preferred destination to recharge and socialise from my teenage years

Z3.12. [from EDZ, from The World on PRI, 2/26/03, speaker Richard Engel] And after beating him for ten days and promising him a pardon, Rannam confessed to being an informer.
[I assume there was previous mention of the persecutors.  Still…]

Z3.13.  PRP(HV)-I-1PI-OK  Having decided on the Turing machine as the basic computing device for the theory, the idea is to measure the efficiency of an agorithm by the number of steps (i.e., Turing-machine steps) taken to complete the calculation. (from CP, from Keith Devlin, Mathematics: The New Golden Age (NY: Columbia U P, new and rev. ed., 199), p. 292)

Z3.14. [KQED radio, 3/11/03, a child abduction report, beginning with a description of the car involved and its license plate number, followed by:]  If seen, contact Richmond police at… [and then a description of the two children and their abductor]

Z3.15.LIKE-I-POSS-OK   Like other Californians who died during the year, Chuck Jones’s accomplishments will be… (approximate – heard on car radio in the dark, 12/27/02, California Report on KQED)

Z3.16.LIKE [Aaron Lawrence, Suburban Hustler (Warren NJ: Late Night Press, 1999), p. 171.  No, the writer is not some semi-literate dumbo] Like hundreds of cocks before Nicks, I lean toward him and take it into my mouth.

Z3.17.ASA [Aaron Lawrence, The Male Escort Handbook (Warren NJ: Late Night Press, 2000), p. 25] As an escort, clients will often count on you to serve as their outlet in the gay world.

Z3.18. [Morning Edition, KQED, 11/27/02,a (presumably scripted) announcement of a program. There was a previous mention of  the actor involved.]  After appearing in two films set in the Vietnam War era, the  government there has declared him to be…

Z3.19. [opinion piece on childhood obesity, KQED, 3/19/03. No explicit 1st person pronoun in this sentence.] As someone who works to relieve childhood hunger, its ironic…  to have to explain to legislators…

Z3.20.LIKE [Law and Order episode. The intended reading is “enough is enough for me”.] She still parties…  Unlike Karen, enough is enough.

Z3.21. [Veronica Gerassimova handout for dissertation research report, Stanford, 11/26/02. A speaker-oriented adverb]  What is the function of the marking in the highest clause? Tentatively, it signals the left edge of a nominalized relative clause-type syntactic constituent.

Z3.22.LIKE [from NPR’s Morning Edition, 3/25/03, story about a prisoner of war] Like most of America, there are conflicting feelings about the war in Valley Center.

Z3.23. [from New York Times obit for actress Peggy Conklin, 3/25/03,  p. A17 (a fair amount of context is needed)] In 1941 she originated a role on Broadway that was to remain popular for decades on radio and television: Pam North, the amiably ditzy wife of Jerry North in Owen Davis’s 1941 adaptation of Richard Lockridge’s detective story “Mr. and Mrs. North.”   Playing opposite Albert Hackett, the urbane New York couple stumble into a murder mystery: a corpse in their closet. [just to be *absolutely* clear: Hackett played Jerry North]

Z3.24.PRP(HV) [from RH, from well-known linguist David Crystal, in a review of CGEL] it is the Quirk grammar which (having compiled its index) has occupied a worryingly large proportion of my own life…

Z3.25. [from a randomized .sig file belonging to Jess Anderson (Madison WI), from soc.motss poster Ro Reid] When catching fireflies, the mouth of the jar must be large enough to encompass the past, present, and future of the firefly.

Z3.26. [in an Animal Planet channel video, seen 4/27/03, though undoubtedly of some vintage]    After rubbing it with blankets, it was carried away. [The it is a fawn, after being rescued from a frozen lake.  The rescuers were, of course, referred to in the preceding discourse.]

Z3.27. [beginning of an interview in Lambda Book Report, January 2003, p. 22] Contradiction: It’s a word that seems created with novelist Juliet Sarkessian in mind.  A practicing attorney, her first novel, Trio Sonata, is not a legal thriller à la John Grisham, but a complicated psychological study.  An out and proud lesbian, she writes of…

Z3.28. [from GKP: British-accented reporter, NPR program “Morning Edition”, 4/23/03, in an anecdote as part of a story about how new technique for quick bandaging of wounds could dramatically reduce the death rate among wounded ground forces] Pinned down by gunfire and unreachable by medical evacuation teams, the main cause of death was loss of blood.

Z3.29.  AFTER [from GKP: Nina Totenberg, NPR “Morning Edition”, 4/30/03, in a story about a man who was only able to prove he was American (he was a Dutch immigrant who had become a US citizen while in the military) after spending five months under detention as a presumed non-citizen immigrant accused of a crime (hence ineligible for bail under standard policies, which in this case the judge overruled).]  After five months in detention, a judge released him on bail.

Z3.30.ASA [letter to the NYT, 6/23/03]  As a Canadian expatriate, it is apparent to me that many Americans look upon Canada as an easily controlled and unrebellious younger sibling.

Z3.31.ASA [Brady Zack Clark, oral tribute to Elizabeth Closs Traugott, 6/5/03] As her advisee, she’s had to do this for me many times…

Z3.32. [Bengal cat breeder on BBC News Hour, heard on KQED, 8/26/03]  If they pass away, which, being a breeder, they sometimes do…

Z3.33.ASA [Mike McKinley, on soc.motss. 8/28/03]  As a ballerina, such food items [doughnuts] are forbidden to me.

Z3.34. [on a bottle of mineral water, Aylesbury, reported in Verbatim 27.2.20] Purified using naturally occurring ceramic earths, coco nut and anthracite carbons, ion exchange and ultra-violet light, this bottle contains water that has a clarity and taste that are unbeatable.

Z3.35. [from a letter to the Palo Alto Daily News, 7/27/03, p. 8]  As vice-chair, his words reflect the distorted thinking so evident in the political structure of Palo Alto.

[now, this is a pretty common type, involving a subject with a possessive modifying some noun of “low referentiality” (yes, I know, not a great term).  Even in isolation, these aren’t bad.  But in fact this is the beginning of the third paragraph of the letter.  The second paragraph begins:]  As vice-chair of Palo Alto’s Public Art Commission, Gerald Brett (in his guest opinion piece last Sunday) assumes the mantel of the holier-than-thou righteousness…

[the whole letter is about Gerald Brett, and Brett as a discourse referent is well established before the putative dangler comes up]

Z3.36. [from a KQED Morning Edition piece, 7/25/03]  If passed, California would be the fourth state in the nation with such a law. [(the law would ban discrimination on the basis of transgendered status.) Presented like this, the sentence sounds just dreadful. But in fact everything that led up to it was about the law, which had been mentioned several times.  Probably only someone hot on the dangler trail, like me, would even have noticed it.]

Z3.37. [from Rodney Huddleston, from a letter in The Australian, 8/22/03] The jailing of Pauline Hanson and David Etridge for dishonesty represents a double standard. While inexcusable, other politicians lie and cheat on a daily basis.

Z3.38. [KQED Sunday Morning Edition, commentator talking about moving to the U.S. from Scotland] Arriving here in ’94, a new colleague said to me…

Z3.39. [from review of several books, including Collected Writings of Walter Thurman (ed. by Amritjit Singh & Daniel M. Scott III), by Martha E. Stone, Gay & Lesbian Review, May-June 2004, p. 41] The editors state that “Thurman lived a self-described ‘erotic, bohemian’ lifestyle,” and “his close friends and roommates knew him to be bisexual.” Although married, it was apparently a marriage of convenience, and divorce proceedings quickly ensued.  His lover…

[this section of the review is about the Thurman book, and it’s pretty much all Thurman, all the time. Thurman is mentioned by name and referred to twice by pronouns in the preceding sentence, and the following sentence begins with a pronoun referring to Thurman.  but there’s no overt reference to him in the sentence in question, and that was enough to make me very edgy about the example. but it got by the G&LR [formerly the Harvard G&LR] editors ok.]

[From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Date: May 7, 2004 11:52:07 AM PDT
… If divorce proceedings quickly ensued, it wasn’t all that convenient, was it? But it’s a nice example.  I find the “although” adjunct dangles so badly that without question I would have reached for the red pen, and issued a stern reprimand, if I had been the editor.]


Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 12:57:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mail System Internal Data
This text is part of the internal format of your mail folder, and is not a real message.  It is created automatically by the mail system software.  If deleted, important folder data will be lost, and it will be re-created with the data reset to initial values.
(e-mail to AMZ, body of message reproduced in its entirety)

Z3.41.  [e-mail from a friend who turned 40 today]

From: Amanda Walker
Date: June 19, 2004 8:04:51 AM PDT
…ObGettingOlder: I’ve been amused recently that in normal engineer attire, hotel clerks  usually call me “Ms. Walker”, but in a suit & heels, it’s now usually “Mrs. Walker”.  These kids, getting younger every year.

Z3.42. [from the Palo Alto Daily News, 7/14/04, p. 12, letter to the editor from Nancy A. Friedland of Palo Alto]  Dear Editor: I was pleased to read your profile on our postmaster John Kelly in Sunday’s Daily News.  Having experienced uneven delivery service for many years, his leadership has definitely impacted the quality of our mail service. [the letter is “about” John Kelly.  but it’s also about Nancy Friedland and her experiences.]

Z3.43.  [from GKP, from The Economist, 10/11/03, p. 85, “in a book review about a biography of John Clare, a poet who was the untutored son of an agricultural laborer.”] Being desperately poor, paper was always scarce — as was ink.

Z3.44.ASA  [from GKP, 10/28/03, with the following intro: “Larry Hyman guessed that the reason I was asking him a certain question had something to do with my being local arrangements chair for the 2005 LSA meeting, and I complimented him on being sharp enough to have guessed that correctly.  He said [by e-mail]:”] Right–as a member of the LSA executive committee, there’s [sic] wasn’t very much sharpness involved!

Z3.45.  [from “ACE Self-Adhering Bandage Wrapping Instructions”, last paragraph (I provide a good bit of context), posted 1/16/04]  Remove the bandage before retiring.  For best results, unwrap the bandage carefully.  As you unwrap the bandage, re-roll it onto its cardboard core.  This will prevent wrinkling.  By removing the bandage in this manner, it will ready for re-use.

Z3.46.  [from GKP, 1/31/04, with his intro: “An interesting case here, where there is a controller, provided you’re prepared to delve into a non-antecedent subject NP and peel the ’s off a genitive for it.  So it marries the dangling modifier issue with the possessive antecedent proscription! From Peter Obourne, The Spectator, 1/31/04


And then, 24 hours ahead of publication, Lord Hutton sent copies to Tony Blair. Within hours of doing so, the law lord’s conclusions were splashed all over the front and centre pages of the Sun newspaper.

Z3.47.  [from GKP, from The Economist, 3/20/04, p. 92, book review of Karen Armstrong’s The Spiral Staircase.] She almost starved herself as a postgraduate student at Oxford, yet had by today’s standards a generous grant.   Despite getting a congratulatory first in her undergraduate degree, her doctoral thesis was failed on a whim, thus ending any chances of an academic career there.

Z3.48. [from Susie Bright, Mommy’s Little Girl (NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2003), p. 157]

I was at a university lecturer’s hall, signing books at the back of an auditorium.  He came up to me at the very end: the end of a glorious night, a crowd of five hundred readers, and about the same number of autographs on both breasts and books.  While on my ninth glass of iced tea, he walked up to the table.

Z3.49. [NYT 8/10/04, p. D5 (Health & Fitness): Annette Racond, “Seeking the Beauty of Stillness”]

[1st par.] Certain moments in my life are like sharply focused snapshots that never fade… [Two such moments are described.]
[2nd par.] On April 1, 2004, I had another such moment: My mother called to tell me that Jeff Matovic, a 31-year-old husband and father from Lyndhurst, Ohio, had become the first person with Tourette’s syndrome in the United States to be treated with deep brain stimulation…
ASA [3rd par.] As a fellow Tourette’s syndrome sufferer, Mr. Matlovic’s story has given me hope that I, too, can be freed from my tics, twitches, bobs, nods, grunts, squirms, hiccups and jolting motions.

Z3.50. The woman reached up and brushed back her hair again.  With her sandy blond hair and old ivory skin, Blanche had thought the woman was white; a closer look revealed that some of that lack of color was due to skillfully applied makeup that made her face a shade or two lighter than her arms. (from Barbara Neely, Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (Penguin, 1994), a murder mystery set in an exclusive, all-black resort in Maine, p. 19)

Z3.51.  [Meredith Small, Kids (Anchor, 2001), p. 117-8] In a series of experiments, chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys were set up to see if they had a concept of self. A mirror was placed in their cages and they were allowed to get used to the figure in the mirror.  Then while asleep, researchers painted a bright red spot on the forehead of each animal…

Z3.52.  [Colt Spencer, “Nip/Fuck”, Unzipped Oct. 2004, p. 21]
[After a page describing nipple stretching exercises with a buddy…] Having incorporated nipple stretching into our play on a regular basis, my nipples started to get bigger.  And tougher.

Z3.53.PRP(HV)  [from the weekly local history column in PADN, by Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett, 9/27/04, p. 14]
Crocker’s mother-in-law, Adeline Mills Easton, moved in accepting the responsibility for raising Mary, Charles Templeton and Jennie, Crocker’s three minor children.
[paragraph about Jennie’s debutante ball]
Ultimately, having achieved his majority, ownership of the house passed to C. Templeton Crocker. Accounts agree that the young man loved the property but despised the old house. Thus, in 1915, he sold it…

Z3.54.LIKE  [“Great white sets captivity record”, wire service report in PADN 10/2/04, p. 4] Unlike dozens of past attempts around the world to keep the great whites in captivity, this predatory fish continues to eat and shows no signs of stress.

Z3.55. sci.lang
[1] …but not, apparently, to construct a decent sentence
Date: Thu Oct 14 14:58:51 PDT 2004
In today’s (14OCT04) Washington Post, there was a half-page ad for a local bank (Riggs, for those local or formerly local folks), with a large lead-in that reads:
(They were promoting some new branches they’d opened.)

Z3.56. [another instance of the extremely common “by Ving” type…  Ron Suskind, “Without a Doubt”, NYT Magazine, 10/46/04, p. 47] As Bush himself has said any number of times on the campaign trail, “By remaining resolute and firm and strong, this world will be peaceful.”

Z3.57.  [from the Ask the Doc column “The human genome, promise and caution” by Peter Alperin, M.D., in the 10/25/04 Palo Alto Daily News, p. 36; insurance companies are locally topical here]  [beginning a new paragraph]  The concern arises from misuse of our genetic information. Insurance companies are in the business of managing risk.  Left unregulated, sound business practices dictate that they use all available information to evaluate their risk.

Z3.58.  [from Verbatim 29.2.8 (2004), one of their “Sic! Sic!  Sic!” items]

From the Summer 2004 issue of Art & Antiques:

“Art mogul Charles Saatchi considers the works consumed in the East London Momart warehouse fire irreplaceable in the history of British art.  ‘Hell,’ 2000, a 28-square-foot installation with hundreds of toy Nazis, by Jake and Dinos Chapman, is one of many pieces that set the world aflame.  Now a glob of burnt plastic, Saatchi reportedly spent $9000,000 for the piece.”

Z3.59. From: “Dennis R. Preston”
Date: November 5, 2004 12:50:46 PM PST
Subject: Re: Burgoo
… It is the state dish. A stew y’all would call it, I reckon. See the recipe on p. 167 of The United State Regional Cookbook, ed. by Ruth Berolzheimer. Chicago: Culinary Arts Institute, 1939. Here is the list of ingredients:
600 lbs lean soup meat
200 lbs fat hens
2000 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
5 bushels cabbage, chopped
200 lbs onions
60 #10 cans tomatoes
24 #10 cans puree of tomatoes
24 #10 cans of carrots
18 #10 cans of corn
Red pepper and salt to taste
Season with Worcestershire, Tabasco, or A-1 sauce

In season, add one dozen squirrels to each 100 gallons.

Z3.60.  [from the 2004 www.grandtheftendo.comsite (written by Brian Provinciano), as recommended 11/18/04 by Mark Liberman on LL:]

It all started in late 2002 / early 2003 when I whipped up some simple graphics and wrote a very basic engine to make sure the NES could pull off what I wanted. It wasn’t much, but laid things out. Being a spare time project, other projects took priority, but by mid 2003, it began in full (spare time) force!

Z3.61.  [ditto:] Developed for the fans by a fan, I’ve taken the time to make it as comfortable as possible.

Z3.62.ASA  [Jennifer Diglio of Lake Worth FL writing to Outmagazine (Dec. 2004, p. 26):]

[beginning  of letter:] As the “Mommy”… of two,… I spend a great deal of time figuring out gay-friendly ways to entertain them. As a Florida couple, cruises are an old favorite…

Z3.63.  [ditto:] Although this may have been the vacation of a lifetime, it would have cost us a lifetime of savings to go on it. Having recently moved to and from California for the sole purpose of adopting children,… our savings were all but gone.

Z3.64.  [footnote from a draft of Bruno Estigarribia’s second qualifying paper (on the acquisition of English polar interrogatives), oral exam 11/22/04.  the footnote is attached to a display of RPIs (reduced polar interrogatives) from the child Sarah in Roger Brown’s data.]  Although unrelated, I also included in this excerpt the previous adult RPI to caution readers against judging the child’s performance too harshly.

Z3.65.  [from Instinct magazine, Dec. 2004, p. 63, editor Parker Ray on “Best Tech Toy: Apple iPod”, a review that begins:]  Accept no imitators.  Now in its fourth generation, I remember how I held out on getting an iPod until this latest version came out, one that is compatible with both Macs and PCs.

Z3.66.  [Joe Murphy in sci.lang, 11/25/04, about David Costa’s book on the Miami language]

Hockett apparently interviewed a Peoria and a Miami the same day in Oklahoma in 1938 and compiled a list of 328 words.  While meager, Costa says Hockett’s data was of very high quality.

Z3.67.LIKE  [from Christopher Lisotta, “Chapter 13: Gay Gatherings”, in Richard Andreoli (ed.), mondohomo (LA: Alyson Books, 2004), pp. 169-70] Long before his death and well after Mattachine was up and running, [Harry] Hay decided he and his friends needed to address their own spirituality and community. In 1979, Hay, along with his partner, John Burnside, and a small group of friends founded the Radical Faeries…  Like the word “fag,” Hay and his brothers decided to take back “Faerie” and make it celebratory…

Z3.68.  [Susie Jones, Palo Alto Police Community Liaison, in her Heads Up newsletter of December 2004]  There have been a number of reports of gardening/landscaping vehicles being stolen  while working at homes in Palo Alto.

Z3.69. [from “The Applesauce Project” by Raymond Lesser, Funny TimesJan. 2005, p. 23] The kids in my son’s class had come up with the idea of making and selling applesauce to raise money for cancer research, after finding out that one of theor classmate’s moms was fighting the disease.  Being a Montessori school, the teacher and staff agreed that this would be an excellent learning project, and that all the kids should have a chance to participate in as many of the steps of making applesauce as possible. [“this being a Montessori school” would have been fine…]

Z3.70.ASA  [1/12/05, NPR Morning Edition, reporter Wendy Kaufman about the mother of Christine Gregoire, the new governor of Washington (State)] As a short-order cook, there wasn’t much money.

Z3.71.  [From GKP, 1/12/05: Printed on the brown paper bag in which I took away my egg and bacon croissant from Burger King on Saturday morning was a little joke:]

It’s not always easy to plan out your next meal. So
hold onto this bag. When properly sealed there are
still enough fumes trapped inside — even when empty
— to keep a person going until the next visit.

[GKP: Notice that there are TWO danglers in there, one of them a supplement.  And although “inside it” would have provided an intrasentential antecedent, this was omitted, so it’s definitely leaning on the discourse.

Notice, this little passage was probably carefully thought out and rewritten and double-checked and approved by an advertising agency and a team of copywriters who were paid tens of thousands of dollars for the campaign.  This is not a tendency that shows up only in carelessly composed text we are talking about. This can go past many layers of review without being noticed by anyone.]

Z3.72.  [omnipresent tv commercial, collected by AMZ 1/17/05] This is Bob…  Since taking Enzyte for natural male enhancement, it’s a confident Bob.

Z3.73.  [USA Today, 1/6/05, “Fallujans reluctant to go home, despite aid” by Steven Komarow]  The U.S. military has said the city is safe now.  The offensive is completed and insurgents have been driven away.  But what’s left of the city, even more than a month after fighting ended, is far from inviting.  Driving through the streets, it’s nearly impossible to pick out a structure that isn’t damaged, including the mosques.

Z3.74.ASA  [Mark Leno, re domestic partnerships, on NPR’s Morning Edition, 2/4/05]  As a gay man, that is disparaging my very identity.

Z3.75.  [from Greg Walker in Palo Alto, letter to the PADN, 2/26/05, p. 12] After shopping at Albertsons [a supermarket] at Alma Plaza for 28 years, it is sad to see it close.

[a few sentences later there’s a puzzling sentence whose problem seems not to be with zero anaphors and antecedents, but with something else, i’m not entirely sure what: For years, there have been attempts to renovate the store, only to be fought by residents.]

Z3.76. [NPR Morning Edition, 3/1/05, Ivan Watson reporting on the Iraqi Kurds]  Without Washington’s support, however, Saddam Hussein quickly crushed the revolt.

[The piece is clearly about the Kurds and their revolts against governments in Baghdad.  Saddam Hussein had not been recently mentioned (by name) in the piece. Apparently, Watson felt that the Kurds and their leaders were so topical in the discourse that hearers would understand that it was they, and not Saddam Hussein, who lacked Washington’s support. But he was wrong.  I didn’t catch it, but then I was only half-listening; I was lying in bed musing on which examples to use in my lecture that morning. But Geoff Pullum caught it, and phoned me immediately.]

Z3.76.  [3/2/05 NPR Morning Edition, a BBC news summary that didn’t come around again and that I couldn’t find on the website, so this is not quite accurate, though I have the relevant bit right]  A week after being admitted to the Gemelli Hospital, the Vatican says the Pope is…

Z3.77.  [3/5/05, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday, re Italian journalist Giuliana Sgreni in Iraq] Instead of celebrating her return, an anti-war rally is now planned.

Z3.78.  [in a story about the Palo Alto Toyota dealership probably having to move to a larger site outside of P.A., the PADN (3/5/05, p. 69) says:] Generating $66 million in sales revenue last year, Kopacz [the manager] estimates that a larger dealership with a freeway billboard could generate $130 to $140 million in sales.

[The immediately preceding story is all about plans for the new dealership, and there’s no way you can get the sentence-initial modifier to be about the current dealership.  The new dealership, maybe, but not the current one. Meanwhile, it’s hard not to think that Kopacz is generating that sales revenue. Really stunningly inept.]

Z3.79, 80.  [from the February-March 2005 issue of the Stanford Lively Arts Magazine, in the write-up for the Prazak Quartet concert 3/13/05, by Keith Horner: two danglers, one routine and probably not troublesome to most readers, the other spectacular…]

Z3.79.  p. 48, the routine example: Smetana had already come face to face with tragedy in his life.  After marrying his childhood sweetheart, Katerina Kolárová, in 1847, three of their four daughters died in infancy before Katerina herself succumbed to tuberculosis.

Z3.80.  p. 47, the spectacular one:  (Eight years later, however, Dvořák again fell in love, this time with Josefa’s younger sister, Anna and, four months pregnant, they were married.  It was the beginning of a long and comfortable marriage.)

Z3.81. [e-mail from hifi@hifirecords.com(Hi-Fi Records, Lincoln Park IL), 3/15/05]  Though rare, CDs, DVDs, videos and books may take up to 21 days to arrive when shipped within the continental United States…

Z3.82.  [from an interview with neurological pediatrician Huda Zoghbi, “Researchers Toil With Genes on the Fringe of a Cure”, by Claudia Dreifus, NYT Science Times, 3/22/05, p. D2]

While I was still a resident, I met Ashley, a 5-year-old…
Her parents said she had started life as a perfectly normal girl and then at the age of 18 months, all of this [Rett syndrome] became manifest.  Knowing that Ashley started out as a healthy child, she was hard to get out of my mind.
[These paragraphs are about Ashley, but of course they’re about the speaker too.]

Z3.83, 84.  [two routine danglers from the November/December 2004 Lambda Book Report]

Z3.83. ASA p. 5, letter from Dennis Rhodes of Provincetown, Mass.:  As a writer, poet and amateur philosopher, it concerns me that the gay rights “movement” has, in my view, no sustained collective conscience.

Z3.84. PRP(HV) p. 37, review by Susan Stinson of Life Mask, by Emma Donaghue: The novel teems with compelling secondary characters.  Horace Walpole [serving as a character in this novel] is credited with having written the first Gothic novel, but even without having read it, it’s easy to fall in love with his extravagantly fussy ways here…

Z3.85.ASA  From: Arendse Bernth

Subject: eh?
Date: April 4, 2005 8:45:11 AM PDT
To: LinguistList Advisors
The following statement appears on the web page where LL shows the “free gifts” donors may qualfy for:
As a donor to LINGUIST, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
If the LL crew are making donations, why does everybody else need to? 🙂

From: Andrew Carnie
Subject: Re: eh?
Date: April 4, 2005 10:02:08 AM PDT
To:  LinguistList Advsiors
Actually I can’t get that coindexing at all!  Because of the number difference between “a donor” and “we”.

Z3.86.  [PADN, 4/9/05, Chaddus Bruce, “Bikes on Baby Bullet petition goal”, p. 7] Kunz said the Caltrain will consider a proposal on April 22 to increase the number of Baby Bullet runs a day from 10 to 24.
If approved, Caltrain would have to use some of their older trains thato have 32 spaces [rather than 16] for bicyclists.

Z3.87.  [Seth J. Bookey, review of Murder in Hollywood by Charles Higham, Lambda Book Report, Jan.-March 2005, p. 28 – about the murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor in 1922] Having read both this book and A Cast of Killers, as well as parts of the defunct e-newsletter Taylorology, and other bits of Taylorana, it is safe to conclude that we will probably never know the true story.

Z3.88. From:  pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler
Date: May 4, 2005 2:16:45 PM PDT
From an email from an academic who talked with a friend in Santa Cruz (Ann) who has seen our house, prior to making the decision about whether to rent it:
Dear Geoff: After talking with Ann last night, your house sounds like an excellent match for us.

Z3.89.  [from the Palo Alto Daily News, “City OKs university land deal” by Jason Green, 5/4/05, p. 74]  Although touted by university officials and city staff as a historic deal, not everyone was in favor of the agreement, including council member Yoriko Kishimoto.

Z3.90. [from The Advocate of May 10, 2005, p. 48, Jen Christensen, “Jeff vs. the bloggers”, on ex-White House reporter (and alleged former hustler) Jeff Gannon (born Guckert)] [on his blog] He rips apart Democratic leaders as well as “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau for making light of Gannongate.  Gannon’s site features the tagline “So feared by the left, it had to take me down.”

Z3.91 [from The Advocate of May 10, 2005, p. 64, Bruce Vilanch column “Just like in the movies”] A recent sultry evening at a south Florida drive-in revealed even more…  Strolling around, it was hard to find any rhythmically rocking cars like in the old days.

Z3.92, 93.  From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: two ghastly danglers, same paragraph
Date: May 6, 2005 12:57:00 PM PD

From the GOOD TIMES, a Santa Cruz free weekly newspaper. I mark danglers in the left margin — these are real doozies.  “The hill” here is the lower slopes of Ben Lomond Mountain, where the UCSC campus sits.

Not too many people have been happy with any of the news that has come down from the hill lately. The biggest bullet to bite was UCSC’s plans to add 6,600 more people (students and faculty) over the next 15 years.

[Z3.92.]  #Thrown on top of such already existing problems as traffic congestion, a water shortage and housing capacity, the angry roar of a response from residents and local government was deafening.

Then there was the hiring of the new chancellor, Denise Denton, who cut a deal with the Regents to create a six-figure position for her partner.

[Z3.93.]  #While a common practice in any large corporation or university, students in Santa Cruz, who have seen tuition double and classes cut, were none too pleased.

Both of these seem plangently ungrammatical to me — worse than the usual mild violations of courtesy to one’s reader.

Z3.94.  [teaser paragraph, “Cooking in the Can”, NYT 5/11/05, p. A1]  That Wolfgang Puck introduced a new latte line may not be surprising, but the container, which heats itself, is. By pressing a button on the bottom, water mixes with quicklime, producing a chemical reaction that heats the coffee.  DINING, PAGE D1

Z3.95.  [from Instinct magazine, May 2005, p. 14, letter]

Dear Instinct,
My mother was best friends with my natural mother.  She adopted me and my brother when I was 13, after losing my mom at 10.
[is the closest potential target, but the letter is about the writer’s mother, and she is the subject of the sentence to which the adverbial is appended. The contrast between my mother and my mom doesn’t help.]

Z3.96. [It might be unfair to pick on people filling public radio pledge drive time with talk, but here’s one from KQED this morning (5/14/05). Another sentence-final example, with the intended target closer than the one you’re inclined to get on first hearing:]

I’m going to ask for your support by calling 1-800-…

[Interesting, in that “I’m going to ask for you to support us by calling…” would have been fine.  But that has the constituent “for you to support us by calling…”, which has a subject “you” that supplies a subject for “calling…”  In the actually uttered example, “your support by calling…” isn’t a constituent, and even if it were, “your” is hard to get to because of its subordinate status.  In fact, even where possessives can be targets (as in “As a parent, my interest is in the children”), they’re really rotten for postposed, vs. preposed, modifiers (cf. “I’m interested in the children as a parent” with the rotten “My interest is in the children as a parent”).]

Z3.97.OK  [“What’s in a song: ‘Songs of the Humpback Chubb'”, narrated by ecologist Larry Stevens, NPR’s Sunday Morning Edition, 5/15/05]  Being around some of those fisheries biologists as they were putting in the implant [in the fish], it just seemed to me like the fish had a pretty negative response…

[Not problematic, it seems to me, or to GKP.]

Z3.98-100.  [Three examples that I think are unproblematic]

Z3.98.OK  [First sentence of a postcard I sent in May 2005]  Yesterday was a day at Staunton Ct., working through piles of paper.

Z3.99.OK  [From a homework assignment (5/20/05) by Jessica Stanley, in my sophomore seminar] When referring to yourself, “I” [rather than “myself”] should be used.

[The passive is awkward.  But we can fix that and the participle is still, I think, ok: When referring to yourself, “I” is the pronoun to use.]

When referring to yourself, the pronoun to use is “I”.

Here the reflexive clearly indicates the nature of the missing subject.]

Z3.100.OK  [From a draft (5/05) of Laura Staum’s second qualifying paper]  After considering the possible contributions of modality, register, and genre, the only conclusion that it is possible to come to without further quantitative analysis is that these aspects of a text interact with style in complex ways, and…

[This one strikes me as close to the “turning now to…”, “bearing in mind that..”, etc. participial examples in CGEL, p. 611.]

Z3.101. From: rhuddleston@aapt.net.au
Date: May 27, 2005 2:53:06 PM PDT
Jean Chauvin was born on July 10, 1509, in the cathedral town of Noyen, in Picardy, about fifty miles northeast of Paris. The fourth of five sons, Jean’s mother died when he was three.
L & N Goldstone, Out of the Flames (Broadway Books, 2003), p. 78. [Jean Chauvin = John Calvin]

Z3.102.OK [innocuous ex. from the Bay Area Reporter, 26 May 2005, “Sopranos for the ages” by Jason Victor Serinus, p. 38; the article begins:] Having heard mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter live three times in the past year, most recently in April at the Met in Mozart’s final opera seria La Clemenza di Tito, my admiration for her versatility and artistry have continued to grow.

Z3.103.OK  [another innocuous example, from the same source as 3.102]  After listening to von Otter’s maids and sirs sighing and crying their baroque hearts out, it may not seem like such a far stretch to turn to the illuminating DVD Maria Callas: Living and Dying for Art and Love

Z3.104.LIKE  [PADN, 6/1/05,  p. 28] Like being invited to a cheerful feast at the home of a good friend, guests at Roti Indian Bistro are treated like old acquaintances that have been coming over to Sunny and Rujni Arora’s home for years.

Z3.105.LIKE  [PADN, 6/1/05, p. 59]  Beecham, Palo Alto’s point man on the Enron settlement, hailed the agreement with PG&E as another win for the city…  Like the Enron settlement, city officials aren’t allowed to discuss the negotiations that resulted in the settlement figure.

Z3.106.  [Ben Daniel, opinion piece [spoken, but scripted] on KQED, 6/3/05] Having been told many years ago that we were infertile, the pregnancy was a big surprise to us.

Z3.107.  [from Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, & Randal L. Schwartz, Programming Perl, 2nd ed. (Sebastopol CA: O’Reilly & Associates, 1996), p. 647]  Larry Wall… Over the course of years, he has spent time at Unisys, JPL,…  It was at Unisys, while trying to glue together a bicoastal configuration management system over a 1200 baud encrypted link using a hacked-over version of Netnews, that Perl was born.

Z3.108. From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler from Oliver Kamm
Date: June 7, 2005 4:19:21 PM PDT

Oliver Kamm runs a critical left-wing blog from London (see it at


Here is the whole of one of his posts; the relevant bit for us is not the absurdity of someone claiming expert authority because of who his great-grandfather was, but rather the syntax of the embedded quotation:

June 02, 2005
Argument of the week
The letters page of The Independent is a soft target, but this – from one Dan Mayer (fifth letter down) – is a peach of an argument about the origin of the modern state of Israel “in the interests of Western imperialism to have a colonial settler state in Palestine”. It is, moreover, written with an attention to syntax commensurate with the author’s historical perspicacity:

As the great-grandson of Sir Leon Simon [one of the original members of the 1918 Commission to Palestine], let me assure you that I believe that the world would be a far better place if the Balfour declaration which he helped draft (“A scrap of paper that changed history”, 26 May) had never been drafted.

Let me assure my readers that, as the cousin of Sir Herbert Samuel, first High Commissioner to Palestine under the British Mandate, I may be trusted as an undeniable authority on all matters to do with the politics of the modern Middle East. Further, as the cousin of the same Sir Herbert Samuel, Liberal leader from 1931-35, I have plenty of definitive judgements to dispense on the subject of the modern Liberal Democrats.


The “attention to syntax” that Kamm comments on with scathing sarcasm evidently alludes to the dangling “as”-phrase: Kamm appears to think it should have read

As the great-grandson of Sir Leon Simon [one of the original members of the 1918 Commission to Palestine], I can assure you that I believe that the world would be a far better place…

Kamm is careful in his own follow-up paragraph to switch things around in such a way as to ensure that the matrix subject will be shared with the predicative “as”-phrase.  I wonder how many would agree with him that the original is grammatically bad.

Z3.109. From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler, 200 years old
Date: June 4, 2005 11:43:51 AM PDT

From kaboyates@sprintmail.com  Sat Jun 04 10:49:12 2005
To: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: A dangling modifier example almost 200 years old

In Stone Country, a Howard Zinn-like version of Canadian history as told by Mort Sahl, George Bowering cites a proclamation of the American General Hull in his invasion into Canada near Detroit in the summer of 1812.

You can find the entire proclamation here:


Here is the relevant passage:

In the name of my Country and by the authority of my Government I promise you protection to your persons, property and rights, Remain at your homes, Pursue your peaceful and customary avocations. Raise not your hands against your brethern, many of your fathers fought for the freedom & Independence we now enjoy. Being children therefore of the same family with us, and heirs to the same Heritage, the arrival of an army of Friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated from Tyranny and oppression and restored to the dignified status of freemen. [I corrected some of the punctuation.]

If the matrix clause had been active, there is no dangling modifier.

Any relationship between this proclamation and present events in other parts of the world may not be coincidental.

Of course, Hull was unsuccessful.

Bob Yates, Central Missouri State University

Z3.110.  [What is this? Seems danglerish to me.  From a posting by David Bowie to ADS-L, 6/23/05]  In the interest of tracking the spread (if any) of “gay vague”, this article was reprinted in today’s Orlando Sentinel, along with a handy chart highlighting the term and a sidebar quote containing it.

[On my first time through, I took this to be attributing the interest to the (editors of the) Orlando Sentinel, but of course the framing PP is speaker-oriented, an interpretation I’d get without problem from the punctuation:

In the interest of tracking the spread (if any) of “gay vague”: this article…]

Z3.111.  AFTER? [from John Mortimer, When There’s a Will (American ed. by Viking, 2005), p. 3, an impeccable “dangler”] All the same, after twenty years spent knocking around the criminal courts, it’s hard to remember cases which showed human nature as more selfish, more predatory, redder in tooth and claw, than those probate actions which concerned the remnants of a finished life and the property of the dead.

Z3.112. [e-mail from Chris Waigl, 6/23/05]  Here’s another dangling modifier I caught yesterday. It’s not so much dangling as falling off completely: *”Notoriously hard to catch and control, the authorities are now planning to attack from the air.” This is from the BBC video news report linked from this article:


The NP the modifier needs to be attached to is the logical subject of nearly all the clauses in the passage that precedes the sentence:

“*Camels are not native to Australia. A few were brought here more than a hundred years ago. They were better than horses at coping with the conditions. Some escaped their minders, and the population has been exploding ever since.”

Z3.113.LIKE  [Scott Shafer on KQED’s “California Report”, 1 July 2005, about the World Pillow Fighting Championships in Kenwood, California]  Like any sport, there’s strategy.

[“as in” would have been fine; “like in” would have been ok though nonstandard; just plain “like” doesn’t quite work for me]

Z3.114. [also discussed by GKP on LLog:


From: Geoff Pullum
Subject: dangler in the US Declaration of Independence
Date: July 5, 2005 8:13:16 AM PDT
To: Chris Potts rhuddleston@aapt.net.au, zwicky@csli.stanford.edu

There is a dangling modifier in the Declaration of Independence that Jefferson drafted for his colleagues just before the founding of the USA; it is in the list of bitter complaints against the behavior of the king:

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

Even with the preceding context, I find I tend to get the wrong reading on that last finite clause — it sounds as if it’s talking about occasions on which the king has been suspended (by his thumbs, perhaps; the colonists would have appreciated that).

This is not the only case where I, speaking personally, find fairly strong unacceptability despite a perfectly sensible earlier antecedent being apparently available (though not to my ear) in the same sentence.  I’ll send another one soon.

Z3.115.  Mark Liberman on Language Log, 7/18/05:



From the Guardian, “Three cities, four killers“, 7/17/2005
Yet last summer Khan changed. It was following his final trip to Pakistan. Those who knew him had detected a mood change. Two months after he visited the Commons last October, Khan resigned as a popular teaching assistant at the Hillside Primary School in Leeds. In the same period, Tanweer too was undergoing a profound personal transformation. Last December, he met militant groups linked to al-Qaeda north of Lahore. Days after returning to Beeston, a man he met was arrested for an attack in 2002 on an Islamabad church near a US embassy.[emphasis added]

I had to read this twice, because at first I thought I was learning that one of the Islamabad church bombers had been arrested in Yorkshire. That’s why, as Geoff Pullum has pointed out, dangling modifiers are bad manners.

Z3.116.OK  [innocuous ex. from Kathryn Campbell-Kibler’s Ph.D. dissertation draft of 7/19/05]  Reading his [an interviewee’s] comment, it is difficult to determine what his actual opinion of the speaker’s intelligence is.

Z3.117.OK  [innocuous ex. from AMZ in e-mail to Michael Adams, 7/19/05]  having said that, let me thank you again for…

Z3.118.  [dangleroid, from Chrs Waigl, 7/13/05.  Chris said that it wasn’t actually a dangler, which is true — but it has a control problem (in the infinitival complement to the noun “bid”) that is related to the control problems of classic danglers.]

But the naming of Best was delayed so that his lawyers could make today’s last ditch bid to remain anonymous.



i.e., for him [not them] to remain anonymous.

I was wondering quite a bit about how bad that sounded to real English speakers, but you aren’t the grammar help line, after all. So I just blogged it, with some other stuff


Z3.119. From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler from Tom Friedman
Date:  August 5, 2005 3:40:04 PM PDT

An example to illustrate very nicely that dangling is not about not having an available antecedent.  In this example, there is a perfectly fine antecedent and the sense is immediately clear, yet I still did a double-take.  For me the example really is deviant.

Yes, Bush has laid down a bold proposal for also fixing Social Security, but by not putting that front and center, it has gotten lost behind his private accounts obsession, which is not the country’s priority.

Thomas Friedman, “Bush needs to have a different vice president.”  Dayton Daily News, 6/23/2005, A17. [In the New York Times probably the previous day.]

Clearly it is Bush who did not put the fixing proposal front and center, but that’s not enough, I still find it syntactically off because I try to parse the fronted adjunct (“by not putting…”) as having something in its own clause as its target of predication.

Z3.120. From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler looking for clausal antecedent
Date: August 5, 2005 3:56:58 PM PDT

In the following example the non-finite clause adjunct is not fronted.  It is tacked onto the end of the matrix clause.  And the antecedent availability question is complex.  Let me show you the example first.  “He” refers to Sam Courtney, a California Highway Patrol officer.

Just recently, the last time he responded to an accident on Highway 9, a motorcyclist had crossed over into the other lane and collided with a pickup truck, killing him instantly. [Hunter Holcombe, “Learning curves”, Good Times [Santa Cruz], 7/28/2005, 19.]

The question is who did the killing. The matrix clause subject is “a motorcyclist”; but since the “him” has to be the motorcyclist, the subject of the KILL clause cannot be, because “him” would have to be “himself”.  And it certainly isn’t Sam Courtney who is the target. So where else can we turn?  We consider “a pickup truck”. But that doesn’t seem right; the final clause means “with the result that he [the motorcyclist] was instantly killed”.  Compare:

*Yesterday the chair_1 met with the dean_2, [__2] approving our departmental development plan.

What we want semantically is that the collision with the pickup truck killed the motorcyclist.  But you can’t do that with a gerund-participial clause.  You need a full supplementary relative:

He collided with a pickup truck, which killed him instantly.

Subtle; but Holcombe’s sentence is definitely bad for me.

Z3.121.PRP(HV)  [John F. Galliher, Wayne H. Brekhus, & David P. Keys, Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology (U. Wisc. Press, 2004), p. 8]

Another prime example of an activist scholar is found in Irwin Deutscher.  While a graduate student in sociology at the University of Missouri, Deutscher… Deutscher would later become a tenured professor at Syracuse University. After having been arrested on several occasions for civil rights protests, the university president summarily cut his salary in half, thereby forcing him to leave the university.

[No matter how much the paragraph is about Deutscher, I just can’t get the intended interpretation of that adverbial on the first reading.]

Z3.122.  [Paul Baker, Public Discourses of Gay Men (Routledge, 2005), p. 64]

In the case of the Daily Mail, the archive stretched back to 1998, while with the Mirror, electronic archiving had commenced in 2000. However, when looking closer at the archive, the number of articles that were available from 2000 and earlier appeared to be much smaller than those available after 2001…

[Not great, by any means, but manageable.]

Z3.123.F(SUM)-PRP-OK [AMZ posting to sci.lang 8/15/05]  a wonderful subtlety: *concessive* free relatives, with wh-ever words, are not subject to the constraint, giving contrasts like:…

[Here the subjectless participial is understood like a supplementary relative — felicitously, I think (in contrast to Geoff’s “killing him instantly” example, Z3.120).]

Z3.124.  [NYT Science Times, 8/16/05, p. D2, “From a Childhood Ambition Comes a Quest to Save the Tiger”, by Claudia Dreifus]  And so Ullas Karanth took up engineering, which he detested, only to give it up and become a farmer, bringing him closer to the wilderness and the tigers.

[Again, the sentence-final participial conveys what might better have been expressed by a supplementary relative: … which brought him closer…]

Z3.125.PRP(HV)  [another sentence-final participal, and not a very felicitous one, in my opinion: from a letter to the NYT Magazine (8/21/05, p. 8) from Dorothy Coffey of New Brunswick NJ, which begins:]  Never before has an article hit so close to home.  Was it the timing, having lost my mother to lung cancer three months ago?

Z3.126.  [from commentator Yasmine Noujaim on NPR’s All Things Considered, 8/23/05]  While flipping the pieces [of eggplant] over, the flesh was softening…

Z3.127.PRP(HV)  [from Regis McCafferty, The Sherlock Holmes Adventures (iUniverse, 2004),”The Case of the Mumbling Mum”,  p. 2]  This was Joshua’s second case, having only been in the business for little more than three weeks.

Z3.128-130. From: pullum@ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler from a math paper
Date: August 29, 2005 10:38:27 AM PDT

The New York Times on Tuesday, July 19, 2005, in the Science Times section, page D2, had an article about actess Danica McKellar, who makes her living doing TV acting (Winnie Cooper in “The Wonder Years”) but is a doctoral-caliber UCLA mathematics major and has a theorem with her name on it (the Chayes-McKellar-Winn theorem). A section of the paper that announced the theorem is reproduced above her picture. Three successive paragraphs begin with danglers:

Dividing by the right-hand side, and letting E_H(-) be the Ising expectation with respect to the Hamiltonian H, this inequality is equivalent to…

Using the fact that [math formula omitted —GKP], the left-hand side of the equation is bounded below by [math formula omitted —GKP], which is always >= 1…

Having shown (16), the lemma is implied by the following ‘alteration’ of (15)…

[This sort of phrasing is very common in mathematical exposition.  Eliminating it usually introduces occurrences of we – referring to the author(s) or to the author(s) together with the reader(s) – that are frowned upon in technical writing.]

[from GKP, 8/30/05: Poor mathematicians.  Can’t use the passive (Strunk & White forbid it absolutely); can’t use “we” (editors dislike the personalness of it); and the only alternative is dangling participles! This might be bloggable, actually]

Z3.131.  [from NYT Science Times, 8/30/05, p. D5, “One Last Recipe From Mother, for the Good Death”, by Larry Zaroff, M.D.]  She returned to Washington and two weeks later survived a devastating heart attack, destroying enough of her heart muscle so that she was restricted to bed.

[The intention of the writer (or editor) seems pretty clear: the participial is supposed to be a nonrestrictive modifier of the immediately preceding “a devastating heart attack”, paraphrasable by “which destroyed enough…” (which is what *I* would have written, even at the cost of one extra word).  But I find that reading very hard to get; instead I’m inclined to treat the participial as a sentence modifier and so to fix, incorrectly, on the woman as the entity doing the destroying.

I note also that “destroying enough of her heart muscle so that…” looks like a blend of two constructions: a free-standing modifying clause introduced by “so (that)” (“destroying much of her heart muscle(,) so (that)…”) and a result clause, linked to “enough”, introduced by “that” (“destroying enough of her heart muscle that…”  As it stands, it’s just ungrammatical.]

Z3.132.  [AP story in Palo Alto Daily News, “PG&E to raise electric rates”, 9/2/05, p. 20]  PG&E’s business and agricultural customers aren’t facing as severe a price shock [as its residential customers], leaving their electricity rates slightly below the peaks reached in mid-2001.

[I would much prefer “which leaves their electricity rates…”  But I’m beginning to think that the participial versions are now the preferred versions for many writers.  Perhaps because writers have been cautioned against “which” relatives without clear antecedents in the preceding sentence.]

Z3.133.  [from the Advocate of 9/13/05, “Debunking Social Security reform” news item, p. 18, which begins:]  Already shortchanged under the current Social Security program, activists argue that gay men and lesbians would be in an even worse situation under President George Bush’s plan because…

Z3.134.  [From “Secret Stitch” by Cator Sparks (Genre magazine, September 2005), a set of pieces on designers of men’s clothes.  This is from p. 45, on Morgan d’Alessandro, a company run by Matthew Morgan and Alessandro Poddie; the first paragraph is about their clothes, and then comes paragraph 2:]  While meeting in their quaint carriage house in the village [Greenwich Village], Alessandro stressed (in his sexy Italian accent) that the line is “classic on the outside, trendy on the inside…”

[Who is meeting in that carriage house?  Not them (Matthew and Alessandro), as you might expect from the “their”, and not Alessandro alone, as you might expect from “Alessandro” as the subject of the sentence — but the writer, Cator Sparks, and Alessandro (and possibly Matthew as well, though we can’t tell from the story). There are ways to improve comprehensibility without giving up “while +VPing”, but the “while” modifier is still a dangler (e.g., “While meeting with Allesandro in…, he stressed to me that…”).  The only way to fix things completely is to supply a subject: e.g., “When I met with Alessandro in…, he stressed that…”

I suspect that Sparks was trying to suppress explicit reference to himself.  The designer pieces come in two formats, Q&A and (third-person) narrative.  In the Q&A pieces, Sparks uses “I” freely in his questions, but in the narratives there is no “I” or “we”.  In a way, this is really silly, since Sparks’s personality intrudes into the narrative pieces via his arch descriptions.]

Z3.135. [Yet another example where a final participial is to be understood like a “summative” non-restrictive [aka supplementary] relative, one predicating something of the whole proposition denoted by the clause it follows.  I got this one wrong on the first reading, taking the participal to be predicating something of science, which of course is silly. Lisa Randall, “Dangling Particles”, NYT op-ed piece, 9/18/05, p. wk 13, first sentence:]

Science plays an increasingly significant role in people’s lives, making the faithful communication of scientific developments more important than ever.

Z3.136.ASA [letter to NYT Science Times, 9/20/05, p. D4, from Khadjia S. Amjad (of Washington DC), about the film “March of the Penguins”]  As a practicing Muslim, this documentary reminded me of God’s grace and mercy, and how we can learn so much from the world around us.

Z3.137. [from the “The End Of The World As We Know It” entry in the “Tropes & Idioms” section of the TV Tropes Wiki:


Earth was destroyed for no clear reason in the final episode of Andromeda after being largely irrelevant to the show for its entire run (Though mostly human, only one of the regular characters was actually from Earth).

[AMZ: In fact, the regular characters in general — not just the one who was actually from Earth — were mostly human.]

Z3.138. From: Benjamin Zimmer
Date: October 3, 2005 11:27:55 AM PDT
Subject: mountain biking (1982)

mountain biking, vbl. n. (OED3 1985)

1982 _Los Angeles Times_ 24 Aug. V7/2 Devotees of a new sport called mountain biking, the Johnsons’ bikes are especially intended for rough terrain and night riding…

(Dangling modifier fans should enjoy that first cite.)

Z3.139.ASA? [Barbara Bradley-Hagerty, NPR’s Morning Edition, 10/7/05, “Supreme Court Nominee Harriet Miers’ Spriritual Journey”]  In converting as an adult, Miers’ spiritual journey parallels that of President Bush…

[from GKP, 10/7/05: I actually heard it, and failed to notice what I now think of as quite a nasty dangler.  Attention-sensitive grammatical constraints?  I hope not…]

Z3.140. [Rachel Jones, NPR Morning Edition, 9/29/05]  For instance, the courthouse in Orleans Parish is flooded, destroying thousands of files…

From: zwicky@csli.stanford.edu
Subject: Re: another summative final VPing
Date: October 10, 2005 8:48:20 AM PDT
To: pullum@soe.ucsc.edu

On Oct 9, 2005, at 7:36 AM, you wrote:

From zwicky@csli.stanford.edu  Sat Oct 8 12:25:28 2005

Rachel Jones, NPR Morning Edition, 9/29/05:
For instance, the courthouse in Orleans Parish is flooded, destroying thousands of files…

Oooh!  Absolutely no controller for the participle there: it’s not like you can read it as

#the courthouse in Orleans Parish is flooded by [NP_x], [[NP_x] destroying thousands of files…]

“Is flooded” is a stative passive.  Not that this would be any better:

#Last night the courthouse in Orleans Parish was flooded by polluted water from Lake Ponchartrain, [[dirty water from Lake Ponchartrain] destroying thousands of files…

It’s really badly ungrammatical for me.  Yet I probably heard it and did not object (this time I don’t recall).

it appears that for a great many people, these final participial modifiers function just like summative supplementary relatives in “which”, as in:

the courthouse in Orleans Parish is flooded, which has destroyed thousands of files.

after all, the participials just have a zero anaphor where the supplementary relatives have an overt anaphor, “which”.

my own judgments on the two kinds of anaphora are usually pretty close; if i’m not fond of the summative relative clause, i’m not fond of the summative participial, etc. etc.  the flooding examples are both in an edgy gray area for me, but some of the other summative participial examples sound ok to me, and so do their relative clause counterparts, and in some cases both sound awful to me.  i have no idea what distinguishes these cases.

it looks like for you summative participials are in general worse than summative relative clauses.  that wouldn’t be surprising, since i *think* (guess) that the summative participals are much more recent than the summative relatives (which have been around a very long time, even though many usage manuals deplore them).

Z3.141.  [WCBS-TV, New York, news story 10/20/05 about three-month-old twins found mysteriously dead in their cribs, after a paragraph about the grieving parents]  After speaking to police for several hours, the boys’ deaths are still a mystery. [even with the context, it didn’t work for me]

Z3.142. [Lani Guinier, lunchtime conversation at SHC, 10/31/05, talking about Constance Baker Motley] Growing up, she was a real hero of mine.

Z3.143. [Frank Thomas, Sherlock Holmes and the Bizarre Alibi (XLibris Corp., 2004), p. 38]  “If we rule out revenge,” stated the sleuth, “kidnapping is a crime for gain. Having eluded a nationwide search, it is strange that the kidnappers have not made a move towards collecting ransom.”

Z3.144. [Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Volume One (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2004), p. 27]  Being an heir of the  ’40s and ’50s cultures, this kind of talk was fine with me.

Z3.145. [NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, 11/5/05]  Her new novel is different.  Though dark, there is hope at the end.

Z3.146. [NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, 11/6/05]  Brazil and Panama are on the President’s schedule today, after attending…

Z3.147. [NPR ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin, column of 11/8/05] Visitors to Washington, D.C. may note that upon entering a D.C. taxicab, the car radio is often tuned to one of the two local NPR member stations — WAMU or WETA.

Z3.148. [posted on Language Log 11/15/05 by Mark Liberman, who found it in Science Daily]  People Eat More Stale Popcorn If Served In A Big Bucket

Z3.149. [Animals Sticker-Pedia(San Diego CA: Silver Dolphin Books, 2003), text for giant pangolin sticker]  The giant pangolin’s body is covered with thick scales. When feeding on ant nests, thick eyelids protect its eyes from bites.

Z3.150. [interviewee named Liesl on NPR’s Morning Edition, about The Sound of Music, 11/21/05]  Even while planning my wedding, someone suggested I march to the tune of Edelweiss.

Z3.151. [from the 11/24/05 cartoon Rhymes with Orange, by Hilary Price, “The Disturbance”:  man on hands and knees on floor in bank, pointing his finger at customers and tellers, ordering them “Nobody move!”; they all have their hands up. Caption:]  Worse than being hauled off and spending the night in jail, Ted never did find his contact lens.

[The gerunds pick up their subject from the subject of the main clause, “Ted”, but the predicative AdjP “worse than…” is summative; it’s understood as being predicated of the whole situation denoted by the main clause (Ted’s never finding his contact lens).]

Z3.152. [NYT, 11/25/05, p. 1 box on articles inside the paper]

Test-Driving the Xbox 360
Microsoft’s new gaming and home media system is reviewed by Seth Schiesel after logging more than 40 hours.

[These sentence-final participials  so strongly want to pick up their subjects from the subject (and discourse topic) that it’s hard to associate them with the immediately preceding NP (which is the intended reading here).]

Z3.153. [Zak Szymanski, “Historic Circle J club closing”, Bay Area Reporter, 11/24/05, p. 17]  Yet [pioneering gay activist Hal] Call’s politics were actually considered conservative, arguing that homosexuals were just like heterosexuals but whose sex acts endured undue censorship and pathology.

[the writer intended to say that Call argued that homosexuals were… but i find it hard to avoid reading it as saying Call’s politics made this argument.]  [then there’s the screwed-up coordination “homosexuals were just like heterosexuals but whose sex acts endured…” “their” would have worked instead of “whose”.  or, with two postnominal modifiers: “were people (who were) just like heterosexuals but whose sex acts endured…”]

Z3.154.  [this one is on the, um, unsavory side, from someone who’s a pretty decent writer. from “Pisspot 3 – Liquid Gold”


10/23/05, by “Jay Bee”: “Since Josh was new to the whole thing, Ron had deliberately got him as used to it as possible, frequently storing up his urine and arriving at Josh’s place dying for a piss.  Once there, he would take Josh into the bathroom and slowly and sensuously urinate into his mouth.  He had made Josh piss into glasses and drink it down, getting himself very excited in the process.”

[the first sentence has sentence-final participials controlled by the main clause subject; it’s Ron who stored it up  and who arrived at Josh’s place, even though a nearer controller, “him” referring to Josh, is available.  this is unproblematic.  in the third sentence, however, i really wasn’t sure which guy got himself excited.  i have now (11/29/05) asked the author, who says it was Ron.  main-clause subject control, again.]

Z3.155 ASA, 156.   From:  pullum@soe.ucsc.edu
Subject: a dangler from a distinguished philosopher
Date   November 29, 2005 8:08:00 PM PST

There are two here, and both are quite interesting. They appear in a carefully prepared fundraising appeal from John Perry, the Stanford philosopher.  Examples first, discussion later.

From john@csli.stanford.edu  Mon Nov 28 17:56:57 2005
Dear Geoffrey,
I’m writing to ask your help in creating a permanent legacy for the subject we both love: philosophy.  The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (“SEP”) needs your immediate help if it is to remain free and open access to all. Some of you have already responded to our online request for private donations, and I personally want to thank you for your generosity.

Your philosophical scholarship provides the foundation for the SEP. Many of you also contribute directly by writing SEP entries, and many more of you rely on the Encyclopedia’s authoritative, peer-reviewed entries for your courses and your research.

As a fellow member of the APA, we surely agree on the importance of philosophy to the academy and in the wider world.  As a faculty member, graduate student, or general supporter of philosophy, you are probably also aware that the SEP has become the premier portal to our nsubject on the World Wide Web.

. . . For some of you, $100 may be a stretch. On the other hand, many of you may well be able to afford more than this amount.  Of course, larger donations will help us reach our goal more quickly.  Every amount helps.  We greatly appreciate your contribution, and encourage you to contribute any amount that feels comfortable for you.

In giving to the SEP, your name will appear on our forthcoming webpage to honor donors (unless you choose to give anonymously), and your donation will be acknowledged by the Stanford Development Office. I will be writing to APA members twice more during our three-year campaign, but your help is needed right now to enable us to keep operating during the campaign and to show the libraries and the NEH that we philosophers join with them in their efforts.

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[So the first one is this:

As a fellow member of the APA, we surely agree …

This has “we”, denoting Perry and the addressee of the message, as matrix subject; but the intended adjunct subject is just the latter, the addressee.  The second is this:

In giving to the SEP, your name will appear …

The choice of “in” seems wrong anyway (rather than “In giving to the SEP, you will be confirming your status as a loyal APA member” I would have written “By giving…”); but the “your name” after that is really inept. I can hardly believe Perry wrote this.]

Z3.157. From: pullum@soe.ucsc.edu
Subject: an OK dangler from Harper Lee
Date: December 1, 2005 6:13:50 PM PST

A correspondent, Tim Shock, who is a copy-editor, points out that the second page of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee has:

“Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that we had no recorded ancestors on either side of the Battle of Hastings.”

But I think that one is OK.  The controller is a clausal subject embedded under an extraposition clause.

Z3.158. [from an NPR piece 12/12/05; I didn’t catch the whole thing, and then couldn’t find it on any of the websites]  Even after living here [in India] for five years, the rickshaw drivers and… charge me…

Z3.159.  From:pullum@soe.ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler
Date: December 21, 2005 7:34:53 AM PST

Just in case you didn’t all collect it from Language Log, I thought I would send this one round for the corpus.  It is really startling. I am inclined, as you know, to think that dangling participles are too common for there to be a true syntactic constraint ruling them out; but I found myself itching to put a star on this one.  Heck, I will put a star, it will make me feel better.

A COUPLE caught bonking in the loo of a holiday jet forced the captain to make an emergency landing after they flew into a drunken rage.

Stunned passengers watched in horror as the randy couple attacked cabin crew after being told to return to their seats.  They shouted abuse and spat as they grappled with the British Airways staff who forced them back into their business class seats.

*And despite being restrained with plastic handcuffs, the pilot decided he had no choice but to divert the 777 jet to Bermuda.

There.  I’ve starred it.  So take me in and charge me with unclear control nonfinite clausal adjunct rage.

The reference (to an article in The Sun, which is natural enough if you know the British papers, archived and visible without subscription at


was given in Mark Liberman’s “…Working the control yoke with his toes” at


Z3.160.ASA?  From GKP, 1/13/06:

This from Mark Liberman, who found it on a weather history website:

William Deedler, “weather historian”, seems to agree with me (and also exhibits a lovely non-subject-connected predicative adjunct):


While almost exclusively thought of as an autumnal event, I was surprised to read that Indian Summers have been given credit for warm spells as late as December and January (but then, just where does that leave the “January Thaw” phenomenon?).

Z3.161. (1/16/06) The beginning of the (drastically overwritten) preface to Paul Freeman’s Bondi Classic (photographs of hot men on Australian beaches) [Cowboy Mouth Publishing, 2003]:

While sorting through the photographs for this book, religious art images from my childbood kept coming to mind.

[What makes it possible is the non-human subject of the main clause, I think.]

Z3.162, 163. (1/14/06) exx from


under “Share Your Story”:

162.ASA Joseph, Detroit: … As a gay man, the story conjures up so many feelings…

163. Tony, Spokane: … Having grown up in a very conservative part of America, with cowboys and rodeos quite common, it ain’t easy exposing yourself to the elements and darker sides of our unaccepting society.

Z3.164 . From: pullum@soe.ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler from Kellerman novel
Date: February 13, 2006 6:48:57 AM PST

This one whomped me in the face.  It is from Jonathan Kellerman’s 1997 novel The Clinic (Bantam Books; see page 23); the narrator, Alex Delaware, is trying to get some information about a controversial university committee, and has phoned the office of a dean of students at UCLA, but is being blown off by the dean’s secretary:

When I told the dean’s secretary what I was after, her voice closed up like a fat-laden artery and she said she’d get back to me. Hanging up without getting my number, I phoned Milo again.

[also discussed at:


Z3.165. From: pullum@soe.ucsc.edu
Subject: dangler from a film description
Date: February 13, 2006 2:15:07 PM PST

This, with a dangling “as”-PP, is from a description of the 1968 horror movie “The Devil Rides Out”:

As the evil Mocata, Charles Gray’s steely blue eyes and distinctive voice are used to great effect and he is more than up to supplying the icy evil of a classic villain (as he did in the James Bond film, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER).

Arnold, you will like this because of the admixture of the issue about genitive antecedents.  The writer is trying to use the genitive NP in the determiner of the subject NP as the target of predication for the fronted non-finite clause adjunct, and it just doesn’t fly. It crashes and burns, for me at least. Get me rewrite.

[AMZ, 2/14/06: i have a number of other examples of this type.  most of them are not problematic for me.  this one would be improved if Charles Gray had been previously mentioned and much improved if he had been foregrounded:

Among the stand-out performances in this film is one by Charles Gray.  As the evil Mocata, his steely blue eyes and distinctive voice are used to great effect…]

Z3.166.Several hundreds of BibTeX files are not yet listed above.  After inspecting them they will be incorporated into the listing. (from Geoff Pullum in e-mail, 3/19/06)

Z3.167.  A small man, despite lifts in his shoes, Berlusconi’s image, projected on a giant screen, towered over the rally. (Sylvia Poggioli, reporting from Rome for NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, 4/9/06)

Z3.168. From: pullum@soe.ucsc.edu
Subject: is this dangler OK?
Date: April 19, 2006 3:59:56 PM PDT
To: potts@linguist.umass.edu, pullum@ucsc.edu, rhuddleston@aapt.net.au, zwicky@csli.stanford.edu

This came in by email from Rob Stainton, editor of a volume in which Barbara and I have a jointly authored chapter:

Dear Authors:
Sitting on my desk I have a copy of Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. It is a handsome volume, packed with excellent contributions. I wanted to let you know about its release, and also to thank you once again for your hard work.

But why, inquiring pedantic minds want to know, was he sitting on his desk?  Is this one of the ones that slips by without any charge of dangling being appropriate? Or am I at last scanting out?

[it’s fine by me.]

Z3.169. From:zwicky@csli.stanford.edu
Subject: from Bizarro
Date: April 22, 2006 7:07:45 AM PDT
To: potts@linguist.umass.edu, pullum@ucsc.edu, rhuddleston@aapt.net.au

Dan Piraro’s Bizarro cartoon of 4/22/06 has a minister addressing a young couple and a churchful of wedding guests:

And now, having each recited the vows they have written themselves, we all realize the importance of education.

[the participial modifier is an absolute, with a subject in it, “each”, so there’s no dangling, but i paused when i got to the main clause.  probably the difficulty is a topic shift.  but maybe the rest of you see no problem.]

From: zwicky@csli.stanford.edu
Subject: Re: from Bizarro
Date: April 22, 2006 11:22:00 AM PDT
To: pullum@ucsc.edu

On Apr 22, 2006, at 11:09 AM, you wrote:

“each” is not the subject.  “Having each recited…” means “The two young members of the happy couple before me having each recited…”.

It’s a dangler, and a crashing bad one, I think.

i took it to be a quantifier-shifted version of “each having recited…”, parallel to “having both of them recited…” as an alternative to “both of them having recited…”  but i take your point.

Z3.170.  Being a star quarterback for the football team and a v.i.p. member of the Delta Felta Guy [the Berkeley fraternity where the action takes place], the new pledgemaster had _me_ choose the initiation for these sorry pledges.

(voice-over from the intro to the gay porn film The New Pledgemaster (from Jocks films))

Z3.171. Bill Walsh
Thank you
3:13 PM PDT, April 26, 2006  Received because you purchased The Elephants of Style : A Trunkload of Tips on the Big Issues and Gray Areas of Contemporary American English.

Looking at the reviews and the feedback on them, it’s heartening to see that an attack on an author for taking the time to provide an honest answer to an e-mailed question is not considered “helpful.”

(I have no problem with this one, which appeared in a plog on my amazon.com page.)

Z3.172.PRP-F(SUM)-OKN’s plumbing is out of order, forcing her to take desperate measures.

(NPR’s All Things Considered, 11/16/25.  A summative clause-final participial that I find fine.)

Z3.173. From: Carlo.Caballero@Colorado.EDU
Subject: Alexander Pope
Date: May 24, 2006 1:18:15 PM PDT
To: zwicky@csli.stanford.edu

“Unwater’d see the drooping sea horse mourn”
Line 125 from Epistle IV, To Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington. Pope variously subtitled this epistle, depending on the edition, “On Taste,” “On False Taste,” etc.

Z3.174.ASA? Eric Bakovic, on the Language Log 5/28/06:

Having thrice outed myself as an Apple product fanatic, Language Log reader Jake Seliger recently contacted me directly to ask about how the new line of high-performance Apple notebook computers should be pluralized.


He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases

[even with the reflexive, this one gave me pause]

Z3.175.ASA  from the Palo Alto Daily News, 6/1/06, letter to the editor from Craig Lewis of Menlo Parl, p. 9:

Dear Editor: As a Menlo Park resident, it is encouraging to know that our hometown candidate for governor is maintaining his integrity while on his path to the governor’s seat. [ordinary and unremarkable]

Z3.176. [from anaphora/antecedents #10] Turkey, long a pliant ally under military or military-backed rule, has proved more restive under the government of a democratically elected moderate Islamic party, forcing the United States to revise its Iraq invasion plans by __ denying access to American troops. (Roger Cohen, “What’s in It for America?”, NYT Week in Review, 3/6/05, p. 1.  Could have been “by __ avoiding use of Turkish soil”.)

Z3.177.  … Osama bin Laden was still at large.  Known to be in need of kidney dialysis, there were reports that he was dying and in need of medical attention. (Steve Bell, IF… Marches On (London: Methuen, 2006) [cartoons from the Guardian], intro to “Am I Dead Yet?”, 3/22/04; unproblematic)

Z3.178.ASA  A reedy tight end, Mr. Bosworth wanted to play football, and the college [Shenandoah College in Winchester, Va.] was starting a team.

“As a new team, I figured they wouldn’t cut anyone,” he said. (Bill Pennington, “Small Colleges, Short of Men, Embrace Football”, NYT 7/10/06, p. 1; unproblematic)

Z3.179.LIKE  [Guru Bob, of the Order of the Rings of God, speaking]  “I’m an official privileged attendant to our Father Jupiter. Like Socrates, we get to sit at his feet and listen [to] his words.” (Faye Kellerman, Jupiter’s Bones (Avon paperback, 1999), p. 24)

Z3.180.ASA  As a kid, there were many times when I thought that… (commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition, 8/9/06)

Z3.181. After reading the tragic tale of Joey Stefano and the indulgent memoir by Aiden Shaw, Bentley’s book [The Last Time I Drew a Crowd] is a sheer delight. (review by David Alexander Mahmoud, Bay Area Reporter 8/10/06, p. 38)

Z3.183. From: chris@lascribe.net
Subject: Dr Martens dangling modifier
Date: August 30, 2006 10:16:28 AM PDT

By pure chance (cough) I came across this shoe description. Note that the writer managed that particular corner in the second sentence.

Launched on 1-4-1960, originally built for work-wear, the combination of comfort, durability and style have ensured that the 1460z is still as popular as ever. With 8-Eyelets, famous yellow stitching, two-tone grooved sole and distinctive footprint this boot is a classic.

Z3.184.AGE  At age 90, let me confess… (Daniel Schorr on NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, 9/3/06)

Z3.185.  Growing up in St. Louis, it was very clear  to me what Missouri practice was:… (e-mail to me 9/6/06 from Steve Hall about university names in Missouri)

Z3.186.LIKE  Like mantises, males of some other species appear to go to great lengths not to be eaten. (Carl Zimmer, “This Can’t Be Love: The Curious Case of Sexual Cannibalism”, NYT Science Times, 9/5/06, p. D4)

Z3.187.  In this scene [of a 1963 Second City production]… the mother, father, and brother of a young gay man named Warren pay him a long overdue visit in his Chicago apartment.  Despite relaying multiple hints about his sexuality, Warren’s conservative Midwestern family refuses to acknowledge his true identity. (Stephen E. Kercher, Revel with a Cause (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2006), p. 166)

[possessives in the subject are usually fine controllers when the head is non-human, but when the head is human, as here, it takes precedence as controller]

Z3.188. On the other hand, it is obvious talking to Russians how much the humiiating and dispiriting turmoil that accompanied Boris Yeltsin’s first stab at democracy… left many people starved for a strong leader, a stable economy and stores with Western consumer goods. (Thomas L. Friedman, NYT op-ed column, “Not Their Parents’ Russia”, 2/9/07, p. A21)

[Unremarkable.  I think that the version “Talking to Russians, it is obvious how much the…” is also just fine.]

Z3.189.SUB(when)-PRP-I-1P  When shopping, a coffee break helps to ensure I’m energized to continue walking the cobblestone streets of Paris. (Dave Lutman piece on gay travel in Paris, Instinct March 2007, p. 44. Impeccable, I think.)

Z3.190.PSP-I-POSS  Born in Paris, his parents were Sephardic Jews from Morocco. (from the Wikipedia entry for Paul Benacerraf (as of 2/27/07):


Z3.191. email from Ben Zimmer, 3/2/07:


The grammar quiz for last week involved a news story from The New York Times on Feb. 14, 2005, p. A21, written by Patrick O’Gilfoil and Christopher Dixon, with the following sentence about a murder suspect, Christopher DiMeo: “After being conditionally released from prison,

Mr. DiMeo’s parole was transferred to California.” According to this sentence, Mr. DiMeo’s parole was released from prison, not Mr. DiMeo himself.

The error is a dangling construction, “After…prison,” which wants to modify Mr. DiMeo, as an adjective modifies a noun, but cannot. The corrected sentence, therefore, would place immediately after the comma a noun which could logically be modified by “After…prison,”  as in, “After…prison, Mr. DiMeo was paroled to California.”  Among the readers who responded correctly was Marjorie (Jerry) Elsden, who wrote, simply, “Mr. DiMeo was transferred to California, not his parole.”

This failure to make the introductory phrase of a sentence modify the first noun or pronoun that follows the comma is endemic of the dangling participle (a participle is a verbal — an -ing word — used as an adjective).

Z3.192.   Four to six inches were expected before turning to rain. (end of an NPR Morning Edition news bulletin 3/6/07 about Juneau, Alaska, discussing snow there)

[perfectly clear, but very troubling.  I don’t think

Four to six inches of snow were expected to fall before turning to rain.

would have been any improvement; you still keep reading it as saying that the inches of fallen snow would turn to rain.  i think that you really have to go for:

Four to six inches were expected to fall before (the) snow turned to rain.

scholars of snow words will note that “snow” in “the snow turned to rain” refers specifically to *falling* snow, whereas in “the snow melted”, “snow” refers to *fallen* snow.]

Z3.193.ASA-I-POSS-1P-OK  As a fertility counselor, about a third of my practice consists of men with reproductive difficulties. (letter to NYT Science Times3/6/07, p. D4)

Z3.194.SUB(after)-PRP-I-OBJ(EXP)-IT-1P After completing my undergraduate studies, it was clear to me that ultimately, I want a career in linguistics. (statement of purpose by applicant for admission to Stanford Linguistics, 2007)

Z3.195.ASA-I-POSS+OBJ-1P  As a doctoral student in literature investigating [X], my project places me at the center of research in the humanities (statement of significance by candidate for Stanford dissertation fellowship, 2007)

Z3.196.ASA-I-OBJ(EXP)-IT-1P  As a school nurse, it strikes me that an important lesson to be learned from this sad situation is how crucial it can be to share with teachers as much about your child’s life as you can. (letter from Jeremy Benton of Madison, Wis., to NYT Science Times, 3/13/07, p. D4)

Z3.197.PRP-I-CON  Working with volunteers, about ten tons of monofilament has been removed. (from a local news report on KQED, 3/18/07, describing an organization working to remove fishing line floating in the San Francisco Bay. This one sounds pretty good to me, given the preceding context, about the organization. The following would have been even better, i think: Using volunteers, about ten tons of monofilament has been removed.)

Z3.198.PRP(HV)-I-0-1P Having been away from postcard preparation for some three weeks, a huge backlog had accumulated. (from my own pen, 3/19/07.  no preceding linguistic context; this was the first sentence in a postcard message. ok, I *did* notice it right away.)

Z3.199.ASA-F-0-1P That’s really scary as a parent. (on NPR’s Morning Edition3/20/07, mother of a concussed high school football player, talking about his mental confusion.  I don’t find the initial “as a” examples (“As a parent, that’s really scary”) very troubling, so long as the subject isn’t really compatible with the predicative, but this sentence-final example seems much worse to me.)

Z3.200.SUB(once)-PRP(HV)-I-CON  [about renal disease] Once having achieved this stage, the prognosis is poor, although even with microalbuminuria cardiovascular complications occur frequently.


found by Jason Grafmiller 3/07)

Z3.201.PRP(HV)-I-OBJ-2P  Having gone up and refused to come down, I hereby find you in violation of the law. (Bizarro cartoon “Physics Court”, 3/23/07: judge to defendant floating a foot or so above the floor)

Z3.202.SUB(while)-PRP-F-OBJ … a new producer who approached [actor Laura] Dern while making Inland Empire. (from NPR’s Sunday Morning Edition, 12/17/05. It seemed pretty clear that the intended meaning was ‘while Dern was making Inland Empire‘.  But that’s almost impossible to get; the subject of the participial adjunct has to be supplied by the subject “a new producer”, even though “Dern” is closer.)

Z3.203.PSP-F-OBJ Last Sunday’s Observerreported on the young man missing from home in the US for four years: “Yesterday Shawn and his family appeared at their home-town school in Missouri to talk to reporters. Shawn walked on to the stage, festooned in well-wishing posters and blue and yellow balloons.” (reported by Michael Quinion, World Wide Words, 1/20/07, in the “Sic!” section)

Z3.204.PRP-F(SUM)-OK Hurricanes draw strength from warm, open water, making the gulf [the Gulf of Mexico] an ideal host. (David Oshinsky, review of two books on Hurricane Katrina, NYT Book Review 7/9/06, p. 1)

Z3.205.PRP-F(SUM)-OK … I am severely claustrophobic.  When I go to a theater, I sit on the aisle.  I am petrified of tunnels, making most train travel as well as many drives difficult. (Allen Shawn, quoted by Janet Malcolm in a revew of Shawn’s memoir, NYRB2/15/07, p. 4)

Z3.206.PRP-F(SUM)-OK The fact is, the vast majority of countries rely on the few energy-producing nations that won the geological lobby, blessing them with abundant hydrocarbons. (Chevron ad, The Atlantic, March 2007, p. 3)

Z3.206.PRP(HV)-I-OBJ-3P The caption to a photograph of the Castle of May accompanying a [BBC News] story on 15 March read: “Bought as a wreck, the Queen Mother restored the castle”. (World Wide Words #532, 3/24/07)

Z3.207, 208. (found by EDZ) from Abigail Percy, 4/5/07, on


the beginnings of two successive paragraphs:

Z3.207. PRP(HV)-I-EMB-3P  Having graduated with a BFA in Craft [Jewelry/Metalsmithing] from the University of Illinois and an MFA in Metal from the State University of New York, it is not suprising Anya’s collection of work is so beautiful and well considered.

Z3.208. PRP(HV)-I-EMB-3P  Having recently won the prestigious ‘Emerging Artist’ award from Sienna Gallery it really does go to show what a bright light Anya Kivarkis will be from now on in the jewellery world

Z3.209. SUB(if)-PSP-I-EMB-3P-THERE-OK  If the prisoner is one of the very few that the Pentagon plans to charge with a crime, he will be brought before a military tribunal. That court may use evidence obtained through hearsay, coercion or even torture. If convicted, there is little likelihood that he will be released after serving his time.  If acquitted, he just goes back to being an illegal combatant who can be help for life. (NYT editorial “Guantánamo Follies”, 4/6/07, p. A20)

Z3.210. ASA-I-OBJ-1P-OK? As an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge studying   modern languages, the flexibility of the program allowed me to spend nearly all my time studying linguistics and the histories of various languages, and also gave me my first opportunity to visit Russia. (Bernard Comrie, 4/07, on the LINGUIST List site:


GKP says it’s quite a bad dangler, in his opinion; I’m generally ok with ASA examples so long as the main clause has an inanimate subject and the controller is easily accessible in that clause,  so i’m not particularly upset by this one.)

Z3.211. SUB(despite)-PRP(BE)-I-CON-3P  [talking about his family’s move from a “very rough” part of Chicago to a middle-class. all African American neighborhood]  “In the old neighborhood, I had great friendships.  I knew people up and down the street, and despite being a dangerous place, we played into the middle of the night with all the families out,” he says. (Emmett Carson, new CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, quoted by Jennifer Roberts, “Bridge Builder”, San Jose Magazine for April 2007, p. 80)

Z3.212. PRP(BE)-I-CON-1P-IT [a tale of the author’s experience in the selection process for the Princeton eating clubs in 1980.  the story begins in a paragraph that starts: “I had lunged headfirst into bicker.”  the next paragraph starts:]

Who can forget the fliers posted around campus, reading: “Any questions? Call Bicker Central.” Being a budding Sovietologist, it was vaguely ominous, calling to mind a Politburo-like cabal behind bicker’s self-satisfied democracy.  Nevertheless, I gamely slogged ahead. (from “The contender: What I learned from bicker’s disappointment” by Marcia DeSanctis, Princeton Alumni Weekly 4/4/07, p. 28)

Z3.213. SUB(while)-PRP-F-POSS-3P  The senator’s comments came while campaigning in Laredo, Texas. (from NPR’s Morning Edition, 4/17/07, news report about Senator John McCain’s response (concerning gun control) to the shootings at Virginia Tech)

Z3.314.  SUB(if)-PSP-I-CON-3P-IMP These doors are to remain locked after 9 p.m. If found unlocked, please call …. to report. (printed notice on ground floor doors in building 460 at Standard, noticed 4/07)

Z3.315.  PRP-I-EMB-2PGEN-THERE [Shapiro:] [The new Roches album] Moonswept includes two references to 9/11, in the songs “Only You Know How” and “Sept. 11th at the Shambhala Center.”

[Roche:] Terre [Roche] wrote both those songs.  Living in New York, there is no way that is not going to work its way into your work. (from the Bay Area Reporter 4/19/07, p. 46, Gregg Shapiro interviewing singer Suzzy Roche)

Z3.316.  … in the Guardian on 14 April: “Branded Stalinist, languishing in the polls and facing the most crucial period in his career, Ian Jack spoke to the man aiming to be the next prime minister.” You will gather it wasn’t Ian Jack who was suffering such trials, but the person being interviewed, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. (World Wide Words #536, 4/21/07)

Z3.317. Roy Zukerman encountered an article at AsianWeek.com, datelined 6 April, about Edmund C Moy, Director of the US Mint: “Established in 1792, Moy now oversees a self-funded agency that generates more than $1 billion annually and is responsible for the country´s oinage.” (World Wide Words #536, 4/21/07)

Z3.318. Having knocked Fox News here frequently, genuine fairness compels me [note “dangling participle”] to question the claim that Fox News “confidently identified” the VT shooter as a Chinese Al Qaeda member. (Jon Lighter on ADS-L, 4/23/07)

Z3.319.  PRP-F(SUM)-OK … the car he was riding in was broadsided, killing him instantly. (NPR’s Morning Edition 4/24/07, report on David Halberstam’s death)

Z3.320.  SUB(while)-PRP-I-CON-1P  It seemed to me that, while growing up in Chicago during the ’40s/’50s that cops rode the tin everywhere they could. (Paul Johnson, on ADS-L, 5/14/07)

Z3.321. SUB(while)-PRP-F-CON-3P  The tragic and untimely death took place while taking an early swim at a private condo he and his friends had rented… (obituary for John Dupre, Bay Area Reporter 5/10/07, p. 17)

Z3.322. PRP-F(SUM)-OK  China will also be forced to appreciate its undervalued currency, further pushing up costs. (Nicholas D. Kristof, “Pirates and Sanctions”, NYTop-ed piece, 5/24/07, p. A23)

Z3.323. LIKE-I-POSS-3P  Like all the horses, his name is embroidered across his halter. (Liane Hansen, NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday 5/27/07, on the Army Old Guard Caisson Platoon)

Z3.324. ASA-I-CON-1P  As a member of a community unwilling to talk openly about fucking without condoms, I’ve struggled to sort through it all myself.  As a young HIV-negative gay man who has had unprotected sex, many of these explanations have grown stale. (Trevor Hoppe, “(Bare)ing our desires”, Bay Area Reporter 6/21/07, p. 6) [somewhat improved by the preceding ASA modifier]

Z3.325. LIKE-I-CON/OBJ-1P  Initially, none of this really interested me–I’m a pushy bottom, after all.  I can play submissive, but I know who’s really in charge. Like many gay men, though, coercion fantasies had always turned me on. (Hoppe piece as in 324)

Z3.326. PRP-I-SUBJ-3P  The dads [Stuart Crabb and Eddie Fourie] planned to return for the [San Francisco Gay Pride] parade the next day but not attend the Sunday’s lineup of entertainment, when guests must pay a $15 cover charge.  Living in Campbell, Crabb said there are not a lot of resources for gay families or places to meet other gay parents. (Matthew Bajko, “Prides become family affairs”, B.A.R.6/21/07, p. 42)

[note that “Crabb” is the subject in the main clause, but doesn’t work well as the controller, because it’s there as part of “Crabb said” introducing the significant content of the main clause]

Z3.327. SUB(when)-PRP-I-CON-1P  I continued to play regularly by myself with a chess set on the floor of my bedroom. My family knew not to disturb me when I was in the middle of a game. When playing by myself, chess was soothing, with its fixed and consistent rules and repeated patterns of pieces and positions. (Daniel Tammet, Born on a Blue Day (2006), p. 107)

Z3.328.  SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON?-2P   After telling Clippy this, the first item on the list explains how to change the Office Assistant,and the second item explains how to hide or show it. (Michael Kaplan, quoted by Mark Liberman in


Z3.328. ADJ-I-CON-3P

Z3.329. WOUT-PRP-F-0-3P-OK?

8/19/07: background: an SJMA exhibition of the works of Martín Ramírez.  first, the description from the museum’s advance materials; the last sentence is important. (there are no danglers or putative danglers here.)

Ramírez (1895–1963) created some three hundred artworks of remarkable visual clarity and expressive power within the confines of DeWitt State Hospital, in Auburn, California, where he resided for the last fifteen years of his life. He had left his native Mexico in 1925 with the aim of finding work in the United States and supporting his family back home in Jalisco, but the economic consequences of the Great Depression left him homeless in northern California in 1931. Unable to communicate in English and apparently confused, he was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and spent the second half of his life in mental institutions.

now a piece from the interpretive comments by curator Brooke Davis Anderson (on the museum’s walls). this follows a lot of material about Ramírez.

Severely depressed, unable to communicate, the police eventually picked him up and committed him to a psychiatric hospital.

one by one, the people in my party read this and were briefly caught by the dangler, but then moved on; as several of them explained to me, it was perfectly clear what Anderson intended to say (the artist was as topical as you could imagine), even though the forms was momentarily arresting.  note that there’s no problem in the museum’s published version.

here’s a subtler case, from an unsigned commentary:

An artist’s work may be presented solely as the output of a mental patient, a religious zealot, or a recluse, for example, without examining it on the broader contexts of culture, history, artistic process, or biography.

here, the subject of “examine” is supplied by the (implicit) agent of the passive “be presented”.  not one of my companions caught this one; they were puzzled that i was writing anything down.  and in fact i’m inclined to say there’s nothing wrong with it.

Z3.330. SUB(though)-PSP-I-OBJ-3P


They banned the film but they couldn’t stop the word brokeback [“duan bei”] from entering the Chinese language.

Now Chinese officials have accepted the term, taken from the film Brokeback Mountain, into the national language registry as a synonym for a gay man. Though banned, millions of Chinese saw the film on pirate DVDs.

Z3.331. LIKE-I-EMB-3P-?OK  “I was originally approached to record an album of standard arias.  It wasn’t something I wanted to do.  I love opera.  But unlike songs, I really think opera works better as a whole rather than in excerpts.” (baritone Nathan Gunn, quoted by Jason Victor Serinus in Bay Area Reporter, 8/30/07, p. 32)

Z3.332. PRP-I-EMB-1P-OK?  Right after college he [Chapel School headmaster Jem Marshall] had come East, he told the audience, working his way up the ladder of school administration. “Growing up in California, New York was always my dream,” he stated, Rannie mentally wincing…. New York hadn’t “grown up” in California, he had. (from Dangerous Admissions (2007), a murder mystery by Jane O’Connor, p. 18. Rannie is Miranda Bookman, the protagonist; she’s a copyeditor.)

Z3.333. AFTER After 15 years with the Giants, the team doesn’t want Barry Bonds back. (from a summary of the day’s news on NPR’s Morning Edition, 9/27/07)

Z3.334. SUB(once)-PP-I-CON-3P  President Johnson, in particular, intuited such weakness [in his advisers].  He could butter a prospective adviser like a turkey.  But once under his sway, his abuse was considerable. (Michael Powell, “Managing Up, Down and Sideways”, NYT Week in Review, 10/7/07, p. 3)

Z3.335. PRP-I-CON-3P  Ben Goldhirsh founded GOOD Magazine and Reason Pictures in 2004. Starting from the back of a small office in Los Angeles, momentum has been building steadily as a growing team works to craft their vision of GOOD. (“Our very brief history” on the website for GOOD Magazine: http://www.goodmagazine.com/about)

Z3.336. SUB(in)-PRP-I-0-1P-IT-OK  In looking through the tests, it was difficult to assign a classification of “ungrammatical” or “purely stylistic variation” to each question… (from a draft of a student paper, 10/9/07.  I’m not sure if this if more or less troublesome without the preposition “in”.  In any case, it seems borderline to me, though it would be improved with “I” as the subject of the main clause.)

Z3.337. PSP-I-EMB-3P-IT  Wrapped in Atlantic mists and storms three hours’ flying time east of Ottawa, it was only in 1948 that Newfoundland and Labrador voted by a slim margin to relinquish its status as a British colony to become the tenth province in Canada. (The Economist 10/13/07, p. 42; fine by me)

Z3.338. ADJ-I-POSS-3P  Born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, his family fled from Hitler … (Jeff Lunden, in a piece about Tom Stoppard on Morning Edition Sunday, 11/4/07: but in the version on the website, the dangler is undone:  He was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937; when his family fled from Hitler a year later, …)

Z3.339.  LIKE-I-OFPOSS-3P  Like use of the passive voice, though, the acceptability and noticeability of dangling modifiers are strongly dependent on the pragmatics of the discourse. (from the 11/2/07 draft of Doug Kenter’s honors thesis on the grammar and usage sections of the PSAT, in a section about the dangling modifier)

Z3.340.  SUB(while)-PRP-F-3P  1. lumpkin  The act of oral sex performed on a man while defecating. (Urban Dictionary entry 11/19/07


Z3.341.  ASA-I-EMB-2P As a contributor, I thought you might be interested in seeing it. (from Brett Reynolds, at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Toronto, 11/17/07: “Yesterday our president sent out an e-mail about alist of faculty publications with the following”)

Z3.342.  SUB(by)-PRP-I-EMB-2P  Write cheques in whole dollar amounts. By doing this, the figures on your payment advice slip will balance within your cheque. [Australian Taxation Office: Activity statement update 2007- 08. Q2] (from Rodney Huddleston, 12/14/07)

Z3.343.  SUB(while)-PRP-I-0-1P=IT  While not offering any opinion as to whether Mr Rudd would make a better prime minister than Mr Howard, it is clear that Labor is in the box seat going into the final week of the campaign. [Weekend Australian 17-18 Nov 07: 18] (from Rodney Huddleston, 12/8/07. “Here’s a clear example of a not uncommon type, one I’d want to correct if I were in an editorial role”)

Z3.344. ??  But like many life-changing events, Levenson has found herself on a new path. (Banks Albach, “Cycling over all obstacles / Woman to compete after recovering from accident”, Palo Alto Daily News 12/24/07, p. 4)

[“as with” (or “like with”) rather than “like” might work for me, but i can’t use “like” + NP for this kind of scene-setting.  “as/like + PP” is ok, though, as MWDEU notes.  so maybe this is P truncation.  but without the P, it reads like a dangler.]

Z3.345.  Dangling modifiers vex (“At home at peace in Lamb House in mid-July, after almost a year abroad, two or three years of steady work lay ahead”).(David Leavitt, “A Beast in the Jungle”, review of Sheldon M. Novick, Henry James: The Mature MasterNYT Book Review, 12/23/07, p. 9)

Z3.346. The surprising thing about this discussion, at least sitting here in snowy Madison, Wisconsin, is that nobody has mentioned this [an -s suffix] as a basic characteristic of restaurant names. (from Joe Salmons, 12/29/07, on ADS-L)

Z3.347.  ASA The location for subject recruitment, interviewing, and ethnographic research will be the Y District of [City X]. As the largest district in [City X] and an area too large for a reasonably representative ethnography, I plan to restrict my fieldwork to the Z area in [the Y District]. (draft of grant proposal, 1/11/08)

Z3.348.  Made with our own pastry recipe and made fresh every day, we offer an excellent assortment of pies including our very own apple, pumpkin, strawberry … ( www.ottercoop.com/grocery.cfm)

Z3.349.  WITH  With over 200 golf courses, perhaps now’s the time to locate in Wales. (from Bob Ladd, via Geoff Pullum on 1/18/08:

In Dublin airport this morning I saw an ad aimed at encouraging businesses to locate in Wales.  It involve what has to be one of the most inept and yet perfectly intelligible and surprisingly inconspicuous uses of a dangling modifier I’ve ever seen.  The slogan (accompanied by a stunning aerial photo of a golf course on a peninsula) was:

With over 200 golf courses, perhaps now’s the time to locate in Wales.

The combination of the focus on _now_ in the main clause and the implicit _you_ as the subject of the infinitive phrase gives you two clear candidates to be the proud owner of the 200 golf courses that are syntactically more plausible than the semantically sensible but syntactically inaccessible _Wales_.  Who writes this stuff anyway, and why doesn’t anyone notice?  Maybe Dan Everett is right that ultimately it’s all parataxis.

Geoff adds: I can’t decide whether I find it acceptable or not.  It is poised on the fence between goodness and badness, bolt upright, leaning neither to the east nor to the west.

Oh, I don’t know; looking at it once more, I think perhaps it is bad. Yet as Bob ays, amazingly intelligible.  And the government of Wales paid to have it printed up on a poster without anyone querying it. )

Z3.350. ASA-I-POSS-2P  As a Permanent Absentee voter, your absentee ballot will be mailed soon (Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, information about polling places for the 2/5/08 primary)

Z3.351. ASA-I-CON-1P It [Magnet Island] is as pretty as I remember it from my childhood, when a trip here in the family boat was a welcome reprieve from the stifling Townsville heat.

As a teenager, the island held even more allure. (Queensland Sunday Mail, Discover, 1/27/08; from Rodney Huddleston 2/3/08, who gave it “3 out of 10”)

Z3.352. SUB(whilst)-PRP-I-0-1P-IT-OK Whilst reading this stupid, stupid book, it became clear within the first few paragraphs that M. J. Harper must at some time have been dreadfully wronged by academe and borne a grudge ever since. I can only imagine that historians ran over his childhood pet, or that his father abandoned his family to become an etymologist. (quoted in


from a review of M.J. Harper by H.J. Lomax:


this is one of a type — with a main clause having “it” as subject and an ellipted 1sg experiencer (“clear (to me)” — that has always struck me as entirely acceptable)

Z3.353.  PRP(HV)-I-CON+EMB-3P-IT-OK  The biggest problem concerns the villain Colonel Stark. Having successfully cut off Hatherly’s thumb with a cleaver, it seems odd that he should make no further effort to finish him off. (Alistair Duncan, Eliminate the Impossible, p. 70)

Z3.354.  SUB(when)-PRP-I-CON+POSS+EMB-1P  My experience has been that it begins with a /z/ sound.

When working as an interpreter, my Japanese interpretees once asked me what “zaktorii” meant.  I was very puzzled. (Benjamin Barrett on ADS-L 3/9/08, on “exactly” ‘that’s right’)

Z3.355.  SUB(when)-PRP-I-0?-1P  When talking to these girls, a lot of the girls expressed feelings of unity. (Katie Drager, Univ. of Canterbury (NZ), in a sociolx talk at Stanford 3/6/08)

Z3.356.  SUB(after)-PRP-I-EMB-3P  After sampling e-books, Harlequin’s Malle Vallik says, they want their customers to buy them. (NPR’s Morning Edition 3/21/08, Lynn Neary reporting on publishers offering e-access to books for free)

Z3.357.  SUB(after)-PRP-F-OBJ-3P  Miss Q. P. Urkheimer [shown with bowling ball in hand] brained her fiancé after failing to pick up an easy spare at Glover’s Lanes, Poxville, Kansas, 1936. (Edward Gorey cartoon in “Neglected Murderesses” series)

Z3.358.  PRP-I-EMB-1P … I just started noticing that pronunciation [im] recently in Robert Patrick’s pronunciation (from later seasons of the X-files). Apparently he’s from Marietta, GA, a suburb of Atlanta, and yet growing up in Atlanta it’s not a pronunciation I ever remember noting. (Ryan Denzer-King, comment on New Language Log posting 138)

Z3.359.  ASA-I-EMB-3P from GKP, 5/16/08: An email I just received began thus (which did not cause me to be favorably disposed to the spammer in question):

From: “Jenny Deckwart” Thu May 15 13:42:09 2008
Dear Prof. Pullum,
As staff member of the Department of Linguistics and English Language of the University of Edinburgh, it is with great pleasure that I write to inform you about the Summer Sessions being offered by the ICD Academy of Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin. . . .

Ms Deckwar is of course NOT a staff member of my august department, and at first I thought she was presuming to claim to be one.  An unacceptable dangler to be sure.

Z3.360. PRP(HV)-I-0-1P Having worked in Facilities Maintenance myself for the last 12 years, this level of thinking would not come as any surprise. (P Terry Hunt, Language Log comment 6/7/08:


Z3.361. SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON-3P Villagers with the highest levels of allergy-related antibodies in their blood had the smallest and least fertile parasites, indicating that these antibodies conferred a degree of protection against parasite inflection.  [this is background, though it does have a nice example of a final summative adjunct, which are entirely ok.]

And the hookworms seemed equipped to retaliate.  After colonizing a digestive tract, the host often showed signs of a blunted immune response, leading Dr. Pritchard to suspect that the worms were reducing the potency of the body’s defenses to make their environment more hospitable.  [subject for the SPAR “after colonizing…” in immediately preceding context, but definitely topical; i might have missed this one if i weren’t on the lookout for such things.  then there’s another final summative adjunct.] (NYT Science Times 6/1/08, story by Elizabeth Svoboda, “The Worms Crawl In”, on p. D4)

Z3.362. ASA-NP-I-EMB-3P-THERE  As a Jew, there were many groups urging him to … (NPR Morning Edition story 8/8/08 on Jewish Olympian in 1936)

Z3.363. PRP-F (SUM)  They [fiddler crabs] can spot people from many metres and respond to their presence by diving deep into their burrows, making it very unusual to see fiddler crabs at the burrow entrance. (letter from John Davenport, “Shifty Sand”, NewScientist 8/16/08, p. 64)

Z3.364. PRP-F (SUM)  The country [Mauretania] is a desert, making food production difficult. (BBC news report on NPR, 8/21/08)

Z3.365. SUB(while)-NP(mod)-I-OBJ-3P  While clearly not a passive sentence, I find the company’s “example” interesting, since it does demonstrate the desire to have a highly agentive (and probably specific) subject. (Ryan Denzer-King, comment on


Z3.366. PRP-I-CON-3P  Leading, 84-71, after three, the Pistons, with Hamilton and Billups leading the way, made things interesting.

This dangler made the sentence flat-out wrong, and must have left many readers puzzled. “Leading” actually referred back to the Celtics, who were mentioned in the previous sentence. They were ahead after three quarters, at which point the Pistons made things interesting. (Philip Corbett, NYT “After Deadline” blog:


Z3.367. ADJ-I-EMB-3P-IT  Unable to read Arabic, it was her discovery of the Koran in French that led her to embrace a strict version of Islam and eventually to marry Abdessater Dahmane, a Tunisian loyal to Mr. bin Laden.

We could recast the sentence to put “she” right after the modifier: “Unable to read Arabic, she discovered the Koran in French …” Or change the opening: “Since she was unable to read Arabic, it was her discovery …” (Philip Corbett, NYT “After Deadline” blog:


Z3.368. SUB(if)-PSP-I-POSS-3P  If elected, Obama’s main oppositionwill not come from Republicans.

The noun immediately following the modifying phrase “if elected” is “opposition” — not “Obama’s,” which functions as a modifier itself. One easy fix would be, “If Obama is elected, his main opposition …” (Philip Corbett, NYT “After Deadline” blog:


Z3.369. SUB(when)-PRP(BE)-I-POSS-3P-OK When allowed to mete out their punishments anonymously, they docked players’ earnings very little – about one dollar on average, or 10 percent of the allowed maximum. But when being watched by the researchers and other participants, the judges’ fines tripled in value. (Benedict Carey, “Wired for Justice”, NYT Science Times 10/7/08, p. D6)

Z3.370. PRP-F(SUM) The team thinks that the white roofs are key to the colling, demonstrating the potential for placing reflective surfaces in semi-arid regions of the world to offset climate change. (“Hot white roofs are height of cool”, NewScientist 10/11/08, p. 15)

Z3.371. PRP-F(SUM)  The indices’ main value will emerge as they are recalculated every few years, revealing trends in species survival. (“Windows of a vanishing world”, NewScientist 10/11/08, p. 7)

Z3.372. PRP-F(SUM)  Since its failure, lenders have adopted a gimlet-eyed approach to everyone, making it hard for key companies to perform basic transactions, and thereby exacerbating the market panic. (James Surowiecki, “The Trust Crunch”, New Yorker 10/20/08, p. 36; could possibly obey Subect Rule)

Z3.373. PRP-I-EMB-3P-OK  As in a Japanese room, nothing is out of place and no detail is accidental in this book (except, perhaps, for a long series of dangling participles — “Seeing me waiting on the platform, a weary smile creased his haggard face…”). (Pico Iyer, review of John Burnham Schwartz, The Commoner, NYRB 10/23/08, p. 4)

Z3.374. ASA-I-COORD-1P As one who was married in California just five short weeks ago, my spouse and I have chosen to seek hope for the future in the Proposition 8 voting:… (Mel Reese, e-mail to Princeton Pride-Net mailing list, 11/7/08.  i assume the “one” refers to Reese and not to the couple (since it’s “who was married”); “as a couple who were married…” would have worked ok.)

Z3.375. LIKE  New Library Director Paula Simpson came to Palo Alto to find stimulation.  Well, she may have found it.

Like Dante’s Inferno, Simpson may have to pass through flames before getting to paradise.  She was brought in to help realign a library system that is well underfunded and well overexpanded. (Palo Alto Daily News, 8/29/04, “Library chief reaches out to residents”, by Randy Jensen, p. 1. maybe the writer was going for “like in Dante’s Inferno” and realized that was proscribed, but couldn’t bring himself to write “as in Dante’s Inferno”.  or maybe that got mixed with “like Dante in The Inferno”. who knows?)

Z3.376. LIKE  Like a character in Shakespearean tragedy, race is America’s fatal flaw, the weakness which so often brings it low. (Opinion piece by Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian)

Z3.377. LIKE  Like all her music, the text came first. (NPR’s Morning Edition3/20/08)

Z3.378. LIKE  But just like the first day’s events, politics seeped in. (NPR Morning Edition Sunday news report on the Dalai Lama, 4/13/08)

Z3.379. LIKE  Unlike the Ruthwell Cross, whose sculptor remains anonymous, we know the names of those who worked on the Lindisfarne Gospels. (William Dalrymple, review of three books on the Coptic-Celtic connection, NYRB 10/23/08, p. 78)

Z3.380. SUB(when)-PRP-I-0-1P-THERE  But when watching CNN there is a very obvious different [sic] in language usage both in the I suppose folksy feel of CNN and in the choice of words and complexity of sentences. (e-mail from Drew Ward, 11/5/08)

Z3.381. AGE-I-POSS-3P-OK  But it’s nice to know that at eighteen, Lawrence’s vision of America still looked damn good, even to a girl who would … (Josh Kun, review of Rita Kamins, Studies in Classic American Literature, Cabinet Fall 2008 (issue 31), p. 24)

Z3.382. BY-PRP-I-CON-3P  This one appeared in The Independent:

By moving house repeatedly, neighbours and public agencies do not have time to allow their suspicions to coalesce.

The target of predication here is extremely hard to identify.  It is something like “a typical person who engages in sexual abuse of his own family members”.  The context (where “he” means the anonymous Mr X who was yesterday sentenced to 25 life terms of imprisonment for repeatedly raping and impregnating his two daughters in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire):

He also employed the common tactic of moving around from village to village — presumably changing doctors and schools — to keep ahead of anyone who might put two and two together. By moving house repeatedly, neighbours and public agencies do not have time to allow their suspicions to coalesce.

Even with the context it is terrible, because we have switched tense and topic: the first sentence is about what the monster did, the second about what happens in many such cases.  It’s a dreadful writing slip, perpetrated by a writer called Jeremy Laurance.  He should have said something like “If you move house repeatedly, neighbours and public agencies do not have time to allow their suspicions about you to coalesce.”

But The Independent apparently passed it for publication: see it at


(from GKP 11/26/08)

Z3.383. SUB(despite)-PRP(BE)-I-OBJ-1PI  The two abused daughters put out a statement that also had a dangler:

“Despite being born out of hate, we love our kids and always will.”

They do not mean they were born out of hate; they mean their kids were.(continuation of previous)

Z3.384. SUB(if)-PSP-I-OBJ-3P-OK  But there are two additional and extremely serious items that President Obama will need to consider undoing.

The first is the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act, …  This act would have a chilling effect on free speech and …  If passed by the Senate, Obama must veto it. (from a letter by Ian Alterman to the NYT Magazine, 11/23/08, p. 16)

Z3.385. SUB(though)-ADJ-I-OBJ-3P  From an email I received from a stranger about a different linguistic point:

Though not difficult to parse, I’ve never encountered the phrase before, and thought it unusual. (from GKP, 8/21/06)

Z3.386. SUB(by)-PRP-I-EMB-I-3P-IT  “By using such weapons and explosives, it is obvious that they would have been trained somewhere”, said an unidentified Indian commando according to the BBC News website. (from GKP, 11/28/08)

Z3.387.  ASA-I-EMB-3P  As a child, the doctors suggested breaking both her legs (a snippet on a postcard from Steven Levine (found goodness knows where))

found by googling:

ASA-I-EMB-1P  As a child, the doctors found out my organs were reversed — a symptom of the disease.


ASA-I-EMB-1P  as a child the doctors used to look at my charts before actually addressing me …


ASA-I-EMB-3P  As a child, the doctors didn’t give her much of a chance as she couldn’t draw in enough oxygen to sustain herself.


ASA-I-EMB-3P  As a child the doctors thought he may not live beyond age 6 because it [asthma] was so bad.


Z3.388. ?-I-0-1P  [from GKP to danglers 11/30/08]

This one is interesting because the fronted adjunct is a locative PP, and there is no syntactic reason why it could not be non-predicative; yet the semantics, in context, does imply a predicative sense, and there is a definite dangler effect.  It’s from The Economist, 29 Nov 2008, p.15 of the Special Report on Russia, talking about what it’s like in Ingushetia right now.  After the topic of Ingushetia has been introduced, this sentence begins a new section:

Sliding into anarchy
On a recent visit, cars with tinted windows and no licence plates raced around Nazran, Ingushetia’s grim capital. Traffic policemen left their posts as soon as the sun set, in fear for their lives.

Whose recent visit? One has to assume it is the author of the special report, Arkady Ostrovsky. But the initial adjunct gave me a jarring dangler moment.  Do you all similarly feel it?

Z3.389. AGE-I-COORD-3P  On Thursday, Feb. 6, 1997, around 9 p.m., I went into labor with my first child — right in the middle of watching a episode of “Seinfeld.” … Now almost 12 years old, my son and I watch “Seinfeld” reruns together … (Diane Roseman, letter to the NYT Magazine, 12/7/08, p. 8)

Z3.390. PRP(HV)-I-0-1P  “My” tax dollars? “Our” electromagnetic spectrum? Not having read this blog very long, is such casual American parochialism standard here? (from a Language Log comment by “rousseau” on 12/18/08)

Z3.391. PRP(HV)-I-0-1P  And having been forced to look up “carcenet” in the OED, it may be a useful postdating. (Joel Berson on ADS-L, 12/27/08, on an antedating of “split infinitive”, in:

1890 _Scots Observer_ 13 Sept. 439 (British Periodicals Collection)  The split infinitive (‘to solemnly curse’) is a captain jewel in the carcanet.)

Z3.392. Rather than being pleonastic, it seems to me that such untethered pronouns are evidence that English has (or, perhaps more strictly, some speakers of English speak as if English has) a topic-comment grammatical structure. (from peter ( mcburney@liverpool.ac.uk) in a comment on LLog posting: “The biter bit” (12/29/08). seems impeccable to me.  what distinguishes this from the examples people mock?)

Z3.393. PRP(BE)-I-EMB-3P-IT  Being an english word, it propably is literally true that “integrity” is not in the bulgarian dictionary. (12/31/08 comment by “rpsms” on LLog posting “No word for integrity?”)

Z3.394. SUB(without)-PRP(HV)-F-POSS-3P  His objections have been repeatedly published without having ever made contact with me or my organization. (comment by Paul JJ Payack on 1/3/09 LLog posting “The “million word” hoax rolls right along”)

Z3.395. LIKE-I-OBJ(EXP)-1P-IT  I looked at the Wikipedia article referenced below, and at Grant Barrett’s article. Like Grant, it seems clear to me that Payack’s linguistic pronouncements are often ridiculously wrong. (Ron Butters on ADS-L, 1/4/09)

Z3.396. ASA-I-0-1P-IT  As someone who teaches a “techie” course in transportation and logistics in a business school, which meets early mornings, it is obvious that not only the size of the class and presentation format matter, but also the style of the instructor. (letter to the editor from Anna Nagurney, NYT 1/19/09, p. A22)

Z3.397. SUB(since)-PRP-I-CON-1P  PAPARAZZO  John Marciano helpfully shared the results of research in Italy into the origins of this word, which confirms a link with George Gissing. I’ve incorporated it into the Topical Words piece dating from 1998 … Since writing the piece, the Oxford English Dictionary has revised its entry for the word and information from that has been added. (Michael Quinion in World Wide Words #623, 1/24/09)

Z3.398.  PRP(BE)-I-0-1P-IT  Being familiar with compounding anarchy in English and Swedish, it would be fun to learn how other languages do this in more, umm, logical or structured ways. If they do, that is… (Robert Cumming comment 2/4/09 on Language Log posting “Fuzzy bubbles”)

Z3.399. ASA-I-EMB-1P As a cab driver, your recent erotic tale of Imran and Steve [Taxicab Confessions, January 2009] really hit home with me. (letter from K.L. in New York City to Men magazine, March 2009, p. 10)

Z3.400. ASA-I-EMB-1P  As a linguist, however, small mistakes in non-essential detail make me cringe … (comment by Pavel Iosad 2/9/09 on Language Log posting “Archaeological terminology”)

Z3.401. SUB(when)-PSP-I-CON-3P  When held up to the light, the entire Lord’s Prayer becomes instantly and almost miraculously visible. (ad for the Prayer Cross from Montebello Collections, seen on tv in early 2009; referred to as a “spiritual accessory”)

Z3.401. ADJ-I-CON/EMB-3P-IT  Famous for its knitwear, it’s not surprising sheep outnumber people by eight to one, and although famed for its miniature ponies also, it is birds that dominate Shetland. (reported by Chris Waigl in a comment on my posting “Spiritual accessory”, 2/27/09:on the site of the airline FlyBe, in the text about Shetland, which is one of their destinations)

Z3.402.  SUB(before)-PRP-I-POSS-3P  Roommates

“The Roommate” – Hours before giving birth, a woman’s boyfriend leaves her for her best friend and quits the talent agency they run together in order to start his own competing business;… (from TV show capsule summary, sent to ADS-L by Larry Horn 3/24/09)

Z3.403. PRP-I-OBJ-3P [Joel Berson on ADS-L 3/29/09] The headline to the “Coupling” column in today’s Boston Globe Sunday Magazine:

“You Complete Me: Facing a grim medical diagnosis, my twin sister gave her husband the ultimate gift.”

Anticipating an uplifting story of a loving but dying wife’s gift of an essential organ to her severely ill husband, I read the whole essay — only to discover that the wife was quite healthy.  (She gave one of her kidneys to relieve her husband’s polycystic kidney disease.)

I feel cheated.

Z3.404. PRP (HV)-I-EMB-1P-IT  Having written a fair number of such statements for some of America’s largest corporations, it was upsetting to learn that some of the work I did a decade ago has not withstood the brutal hostility and anti-establishment environment that now dominates public opinion. (Frank Luntz, Words That Work (2007), p. xxvii)

Z3.405. ADJ-I-EMB-3P  Now 83, and long gone from power, Britons remain fiercely divided over the reign of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (Tim Adams, “The town that made Margaret”, the Guardian 4/5/09, reported on in


Z3.406. ASA-I-?CON-1P-IT  As an American, it was impossible not to feel proud of the team that wears “USA” on their uniforms. (web example cited in LLog posting in Z3.405)

Z3.407. ASA-I-EMB-1P-IT  As an American, it’s embarrassing watching my President bow to another man and his wife hug a queen. (web example cited in LLog posting in Z3.405)

Z3.408. ASA-I-EMB-1P  As an American, this stereotype was hardwired in my subconscious … (web example cited in LLog posting in Z3.405)

Z3.409. PRP(HV)-I-CON-3P Having been in Australia for 17 years, a foreign national wishing to work in Australia must be of good character. (GP. 4/15/09: Who’s been to Australia?:


Z3.410. ASA-I-EMB-1P-OK  As someone who once made a very precarious living as a copyeditor, you would think I would be defensive about this story. But I’m not. (Commenter HP, 7/7/09, on GP’s


Z3.411. PRP(HV)-I-OBJ-1P  Having thrice outed myself as an Apple product fanatic, Language Log reader Jake Seliger recently contacted me directly to ask about how the new line of high-performance Apple notebook computers should be pluralized. (Eric Bakovic, here:


Z3.412. SUB(WHILE)-PRP-FIN-EMB-1P-OK  I think you collect verbed nouns? One caught my eye while reading Dorothy Sayers’s _Whose Body?_: a character says he “cloak-roomed” his bag. (Ann Burlingham in e-mail 7/27/09)

Z3.413. PRP(HV)-I-CON-3P (e-mail from GKP, 8/11/09) From a carefully prepared email that was sent by a commercial firm of executive recruiters to try and persuade me to become (or recommend someone to become) Head of the School of Language and Literature at the University of Aberdeen:

“Having spent over 170 million in the last decade and with an iconic 57 million new library soon to be built, a further commitment of 230 million in investment in their infrastructure has been announced.”

That’s a whole separate paragraph.  And there really doesn’t seem to be any hint of a subject available for “having”, does there?  After briefly trying to put in “a further commitment of 230 million in investment in their infrastructure” as the target of predication, and failing, one goes back into the previous paragraph, which was a sentence with the subject “they”.  But one needs an antecedent, so one’s eye strays back one more paragraph, and there it is made clear (though not with the subject NP) that the antecedent of “they” could only be “the University of Aberdeen” (a definite singular antecedent, but explicable under the British habit of treating group-denoting nouns as plural even for verb agreement purposes: remember “England Collapse”, which I am told just happened again in a test match at Headingley against the Australians).

Z3.414.  SUB(after)-PRP(BE)-I-CON&EMB-3P-IT The Economist (October 3rd, 2009, p. 79): A report to the British House of Commons this year highlighted the case of an elderly British citizen called Derek Bond, who was arrested, at gunpoint, in February 2003 while on holiday in South Africa. After being held for three weeks, it turned out that the American extradition request was based on a fraudster who had stolen Mr Bond’s identity.

GP, 10/8/09: A dangler in The Economist:


Z3.415. ASA-I-POSS-1P-OK  Interesting example of an easy-to-parse “dangler” on KCBS for a couple of weeks: “As a mother of four, my house is …” (David Green, comment on Pullum posting, 10/9/09)

Z3.416. PRP(BE)-I-0-1P  “Being somewhat of a curmudgeon, what does an odd population of mini-hominins on an isolated island really tell us about us? You could almost say, so what?” (Richard Leakey on the Flores island fossils, as quoted by Colin Baras, “Passionate, prickly and principled”, New Scientist 10/17/09, p. 32)

Z3.417. PRP(BE)-I-OBJ(EXP)-1P-IT-OK  And being surrounded daily by various Chinese accents, it seems to me that the problem is less with accent and more with the sound quality and the public’s paranoia. (Comment by Kellen Parker 12/7/09 on LLog posting “Jingle bells, pedophile”)

Z3.418. SUB(after)-PRP-F-3P  Russell Brand says Katy Perry’s God-fearing parents loved his ‘old school Englishness’ after showering them with chocolates. GP, 12/17/09: A flicker of syntactic disquiet:


[controller is in fact the subject]

Z3.419. PSP-I-POSS-3P  Perched on the rafters of the Georgia Dome, ready to drop parachuting stuffed cows, Maggie Smyth’s heart was racing. (from Ben Zimmer 12/27/09, from Atlanta Journal-Constitution story of 12/24/09 by Helena Oliviero:


Z3.420. PRP-M-3P  “How strong is this man?” asks Tanja Cilia, having read a report in the Canadian CNews: “When the 36-year-old man got out of his car – carrying his wife and two kids – to talk to the three men to try to calm them down, they got out of the truck and assaulted him, police said.” (World Wide Words #682, 3/20/10; SPAR intended as picking up the car as the subject, by the Nearest Rule, but the Subject Rule leads you to the man)

Z3.421. SUB(by)-PRP-I-EMB-GEN2P A sign in the cafe of Ikea’s store in Sydney, Australia, reads: “By taking your tray to a tray station, we can continue to keep our prices low”. (report from Peter Fyfe in New Scientist, 10 April 2010, p. 48)

Z3.422. SUB(before)-PRP-I-CON-3P

Z3.423. SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON-3P

Car No. 4 eastbound on California Street at Hyde Street on May 9, 1943. Before reaching the intersection, the gripman had to drop the cable to cross Hyde Street. After coasting across the intersection, the conductor would step off the car and pull the gypsy chain for the side grip to engage the people.(caption on San Francisco cable car postcard “Dropping the Cable” (Arcadia Publishing Co.))

Z3.424. SUB(after)-PRP-I-COORD-1P  I got the heart attack right before my 50th birthday and I hadn’t intended to make much of a fuss. All it means is that you got up every morning for 50 years. But after nearly dying, my wife and I put on a big celebration. Getting up every morning is a big deal! (Dr. Alan Guttmacher, new acting director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, interviewed by Claudia Dreybus in the 4/27/10 NYT Science Times, p. 2)

Z3.425. LIKE-I-EMB-3P  Like many prominent figures of the past, especially those who left a considerable written record as Barnum did, English does in fact owe him a substantial nod for his contributions. (Orin Hargraves, Visual Thesaurus Language Lounge, 10/1/10:


Z3.426. ASA-NP-I-EMB-3P-IT-OK  As one of the greatest circus sideshow performers in history, it is odd that many details of Schlitzie’s early life are unclear. (Altered Dimensions blog on Schlitzie the Pinhead, found 1/7/10:


Z3.427. SUB(when)-PP-I-CON/EMB-1P  I realize that I don’t always articulate well. When at starbucks they usually write Max or Pat on my cup. However, today the girl heard me correctly and wrote MATT. (Matt Adams on Facebook 1/6/11)

Z3.428. SUB(after)-PP-I-0-1Pl  After taking a look at these forms for just a few moments, some potential problems become obvious. (Kimes with Muschla, Grammar Sucks, p. 175)

Z3.429. PRP-I-CON/EMB-3P  The Stanford show is one of five solo shows this year for Leo Rubinfien. Calling it a survey, it is both his first solo show at Stanford and also the first time photographs from all four of his major projects are exhibited together. (Janet Duca Norton, “The captured moment: Cantor Arts Center opens two impressive photography shows”, IMAGE Magazine (Bay Area Daily News), March 2011, p. 14)

Z3.430. LIKE-NP-I-POSS-3P  Like Caitlyn, Marguerite’s serious problems date from middle school. (NY Times, August 5, 2007. “What Are Autistic Girls Made Of?” by Emily Bazelon, Sunday magazine, page 41; discussed in Einsohn07.docx)

Z3.431. SUB(after)-PRP-I-OBJ-3P  After hovering at historic lows, the Fed is ready to raise interest rates. (from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.432. ASA-I-EMB-3P  As an evacuee, the federal government is subsidizing her down payment. (from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.433. PP-I-EMB-3P  At almost $5 billion a year, critics charge the program is too expensive. (from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.434. SUB(once)-PP-I-OBJ-3P  Once over the Gulf, forecasters expect [hurricane] Gustav to gain strength. (from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.435. LIKE-NP-I-POSS-1P  “Like my colleagues, my phone has been ringing off the hook.” ([NY Times, quote, interview]
 from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.436. PP-I-EMB-3P  Even with an excellent credit history, the bank denied John’s request for a loan. (from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.437. LIKE(as)-PP-I-EMB-3P  As with Elvis Presley or the Beatles, it is impossible to calculate the full effect Mr. Jackson had on the world of music.([Brooks Barnes, NY Times, June 26, 2009, p. 1]
 from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.438. ASA-I-OBJ-1P  As a fellow Tourette’s syndrome sufferer, Mr. Matovic’s story has given me hope that . . . ([Annette Racond, NY Times, Aug. 10, 2004, Science section, p. D5] from Amy Einsohn 3/11/11)

Z3.439. SUB(while)-PRP-I-0-1P-IT  While writing a paper entitled “The Representation of Mathematics in the Media” for a weeklong symposium …, it became evident that many mathematical problems, puzzles, conjectures, and equations had specific names attached to them. [controller is understood experiencer] (Frank Nuessel, Names, reported on in


Z3.440.  ASA-I-0-1P-IT Over at “Pinyin news,” Mark Swofford has just made a very welcome post entitled “Spreading the good news.” As a long-time, strong advocate of phonetically annotated character texts, it is indeed good news to note that great strides are being made in the automatic insertion of pinyin annotations in character files. [controller is understood experiencer] (Victor Mair on Language Log, here:


Z3.441. APP-NP-I-POSS-3P  A prolific writer, many of Nussbaum’s books explore ethical questions and consider how social justice can be advanced in a democratic society. (JoAnn Meyers, “Ethics and the Ick Factor”, review of Nussbaum’s From Disgust to Humanity, Gay & Lesbian Review Nov.-Dec. 2010, p. 39)

Z3.442. PRP-I-0-1P  Looking out over the harbor, Scott, the water was totally … placid. (reporter Stu Seidel, talking to Scott Simon on NPR’s Morning Edition Saturday, 4/2/11, about his visit to Northern Japanese city Rikuzentakata after the earthquake and tsunami)

AMZ list 4, various dates

Z4.1. ASA-NP-I-EMB-3P-IT-OK [“The clashing rainbow colours”, The Economist 6/4/11, p. 59] As an investigative reporter on the liberal Rand Daily Mail in the 1970s, it was Ms [Helen] Zille who first exposed the apartheid government for lying about the murder in prison of Steve Biko, a Black Consciousness leader.

Z4.2. UNLIKE-NP-I-EMB-3P Unlike other cities, the patchwork [bus] system in Los Angeles does not allow free transfers.
(Jennifer Medina, “In Los Angeles, Cuts Will Make Long Bus Commute Longer”, NYT 7/4/11, p. A9)

Z4.3 UNLIKE-NP-I-EMB-3P In a report on the lack of excitement generated by the Lewis and Clark expedition’s bicentennial, NPR’s Kirk Ziegler reported: “Unlike Lewis and Clark however, people do want to talk about the budget deficit.”
(discussed in: GP, 1/24/06: Unlike dangling:

Z4.4 ASA-NP-I-EMB-1P-OK and basically, as an Arab Muslim-American, they thought I’m a suspect.
(Omar al-Omari, a Jordanian-American who led a Muslim outreach program in Ohio, interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition, 7/18/11)

Z4.5. SUB(when)-PRP-F-0-GEN I think this is a terrible commercial when selling items to children.
(commenter on an Oreo Fudge Creme commercial, here:

Z4.6. ASA-NP-I-EMB-1P-THERE-OK Steve Hall – As a native Californian who has lived in South Dakota for the past 23 years, there are some things about the Golden State I am glad I’m not experiencing. This campaign would be one of them.
(on Google+ 7/22/11)

Z4.7. SUB(after)-PRP-I-EMB-3P William Duncan read this on SI.com, the website of the magazine Sports Illustrated: “After losing to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final, SI.com takes a look at the last twelve years of the U.S. Women’s National Team.” He confesses that he didn’t know SI.com even had a women’s soccer team.
(World Wide Words #746, 7/23/11)

[header on SI.com gives some context:
USA Women’s Soccer: A dozen years of dominance despite loss

Z4.8 SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON-3Pl A few days later the Iranians were again threatening to quit the games. After losing to Japan in a riotous soccer game, Hussein Mobasher, president of the Iranian Football Federation, stormed onto the field to protest to the hapless Thai referee, a fellow who listed his name as P. Rophoethong.
( http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1135444/2/index.htm)

Z4.9. SUB(since)-PRP-I-POSS Ever since joining a hangout here once, my webcam won’t work in any other apps (e.g., Y! chat, certain other websites’ chatrooms), even if I tell them to use the built-in camera and not the Google Adapter it added for me.
(Josh Simon on Google+, 8/1/11)

Z4.10. SUB(after)-PRP-F-EMB-3P We do recommend that you meet with colleagues, who have been unsuccessful, in order to provide support after receiving disappointing news.
(quoted by Geoff Pullum:

with comment:
a fairly astonishing dangling modifier. No subject is provided for the verb receiving, so one has to guess, and the guess that is probably the most syntactically plausible one is semantically implausible and clearly not right. If I said to you something like You should pour a stiff drink after receiving disappointing news, you would think I meant pour a stiff drink for yourself after you have received news that is disappointing for you. But in the quotation above, provide support after receiving disappointing news doesn’t mean provide support for yourself after you have received news that is disappointing for you. It means provide support for the relevant staff members after they have received news that is disappointing for them. But it doesn’t clearly say that. It leave things dangling, tempting you to delay yourself by picking up the stupid meaning and then backtracking. It fails to provide you with visible guidance.)

Z4.11. APP-NP-I-EMB-3P-IT About 350 pages shorter than A Storm of Swords, it took me much longer to read this one, reasons including I was not off work for a week to recover from surgery, and the fact that I felt much of this book was just something to get through.

[referential it would have been ok (“it took me much longer to read, reasons …”) or raising (“this one took me much longer to read”)]

Z4.12. ASA-I-EMB-1P … as someone who speaks both Boston-area dialect and academic-American dialect, Walker’s [Southern] setting [of the Sacred Harp song Hallelujah (146)] sounds a little foreign to my ear, but it sounds pretty natural as well.
( http://arnoldzwicky.org/2011/08/16/ilse-lehiste-memorial-symposium/#comment-7582)

Z4.13. PRP-I-EMB-1P Speaking as a Sacred Harp singer myself, what really interests me about the tune Hallelujah is the refrain
(same as #12) [?discourse management]

Z4.14. PRP-I-EMB-3P Now studying psychology and counseling, the next chapter of her career will focus on counseling LGBT and questioning people and families.
( http://itsconceivablenow.com/2011/09/01/world-gwendolyn/) [on a website about Gwendolyn Alden Dean]

Z4.15. SUB(while)-PRP-I-0-1P While preparing this appendix, a remarkable revelation appeared in the form of the peculiar manufacturers’ numbers that are written inside every pair of ruby slippers.
(Rhys Thomas, The Ruby Slippers of Oz, p. 225)

Z4.16. UNLIKE-PP-I-CON-3P [about the language situation in Singapore] Unlike in Malaysia, no concessions were needed to a Malay-speaking majority, nor (unlike in Sri Lanka) was English denied to a minority who seemed to have gained by their history a natural advantage in using it.
(Nicholas Ostler, The Last Lingua Franca, p. 16)

Z4.17. PRP-I-EMB-1P  At Diva Espresso, there is a notice that if you register your coffee card online, you get five dollars. It says that the wizard will guide your “computer or phone” through the process. Not reading the notice with much attention, it took a second take to figure out that by “phone” they meant “smart phone,” but on further reflection, feature phones might be able to handle something like this as well.
(Benjamin Barrett to ADS-L 9/26/11)

Z4.18.  AFTER-F-EMB-3P  @CNNLive A jury has overturned the Amanda Knox murder conviction after almost four years in an Italian prison.
(from John McIntyre on Facebook 10/3/11) [the power of the Subject Rule]

Z4.19. ASA-NP-I-0-1P  As a business guy, this is funny cause it’s true.
(Ryerson Schwark on Facebook, 10/6/11, recommending a cartoon)

Z4.20.  ASA-NP-I-CON-3P  When Jon Stewart shocked him for saying (“joking”?) that as president all bills would have to be three pages long, Cain accused Stewart of crossing the “dialect of the old Amos ‘n’ Andy.”
(Charles Blow, “No Good Choices”, op-ed piece in NYT, 10/8/11, p. A17)

Z4.21. AFTER-I-EMB-3P Ten years after invading Afghanistan, on Oct. 7, 2001, the obvious question Is whether or not the United States has won the war.
(Benjamin D. Hopkins and Magnus Marsden, “Ten Years In, Afghan Myths Live On”, op-ed piece in NYT, 10/8/11, p. A17)

Z4.22. SUB(until)-PRP-I-CON-3P For years, Claire Mack was a much recognized personality on KCSM-TV and her voice was well known on KCSM-FM, the College of San Mateo radio station. Until retiring from the station in 1998, few employees were more revered.
(Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett, “Broadcaster appalled by college’s decision’, (Bay Area Daily News, 10/8/11, p. A10)

Z4.23. SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON/EMB-3P  Shannyn Sossamon portrays Coraline Duvall, St. John’s ex-wife and sire. A courtesan in early 18th century France, she is approximately 340 years old. After turning Mick into a vampire, the couple became estranged and Coraline was presumed dead for more than twenty years.

Z4.24. AFTER-I-CON-3P But it is King Abdullah who runs the country. After 12 years on the throne, three things have changed, as the Arab awakening has affected Jordan.
(“Caught in the middle as usual”, Economist10/22/11 p. 58)

Z4.25. SUB(once)-NP-I-CON/EMB-3P  The Bedouin of Israel are not a happy lot. Once nomadic lords, Binyamin Netanyahu’s government plans to pen tens of thousands of them into cities.
(“We want recognition too”, Economist11/5/11  p. 59)

Z4.26. SUB(after)-PRP-I-POSS-1P-OK  After raising three children and consulting with thousands of mothers of infants, my suggestion to parents of such childre is simple …
(Elizabeth Hatherell, Neufeld Institute, Winnepeg, answer to query in New Scientist“The Last Word” 11/26/11, p. 65)

Z4.27. SUB(when)-PSP-F-CON-3P  They are typically white bands traversing the width of the nail. As the nail grows they move towards the end, and finally disappear when trimmed.

Z4.28. LIKE-NP-I-POSS-3P Like several other states, Washington’s minimal wage is pegged to …
(NPR Morning Editionreporter, 1/3/12)

Z4.29. LIKE-NP-I-EMB-3P Shortly after the show, he disappeared with Hilaria Thomas, his sparkling date, a black ponytail elastic still wrapped around his left ring finger. Like the wild raccoon that dawdled onto the stage during the excellent performance that night, wethought it advisable to let him wander off into the dark of Central Park.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: It is not “we” being compared to the raccoon, but “him” (in this case, Alec Baldwin)).

Z4.30. UNLIKE-NP-I-EMB-3P Unlike Mort Zuckerman, another real estate mogul who moved into the media business by acquiring The Atlantic, U.S. News & World Report and The Daily News in New York and aggressively embraced the platform it afforded, you won’t see Mr. Kushner on “Meet the Press.”

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: It is Mr. Kushner who is being compared to Mort Zuckerman, so that noun should come immediately after the modifying phrase. (In this case, the long and awkward appositive phrase describing Zuckerman adds to the confusion.))

Z4.31. SUB(by)-PRP-I-0 By suspending the payments, the money could be used to pay other bills.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: For those parsing at home, this is a dangling gerund; the participle form, “suspending,” is used as a noun, the object of the preposition “by.” But the rule is the same. The noun being referred to should come immediately after the modifying phrase. In this case, we could say, “By suspending the payments, the post office could use the money to pay other bills.”)

Z4.32. SUB(by)-PRP-I-0-3P-IT By changing their color from black to white, it can seem as if more police cars are on the streets.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: Same problem [as Z4.31]. The modifying phrase dangles, with nothing to modify. Rephrase.)

Z4.33. PRP-F-POSS-3P  In the 2008 election, in particular, his popularity was overwhelming, winning with 78 percent of the vote.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: Here the modifying participial phrase comes at the end rather than the beginning, but the problem is similar [to Z4.31 and 32]. “Winning” should modify “he,” but there’s no “he” to be found.)

Z4.34. SUB(after)-PRP-F-COORD-3P  Four years ago, he and Ms. Brady married at Giorgio’s on the North Shore of Long Island, after proposing to her at a hockey game.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: Here, “proposing” refers only to “he,” not to the compound “he and Ms. Brady.” Simple fix: “… after he proposed to her at a hockey game.”)

Z4.35. COMPR-NP-I-POSS-3P More than some other large banks, Bank of America’s fate is also heavily intertwined with that of consumers.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: The thing being compared to other large banks is Bank of America — not “Bank of America’s fate.” Rephrase.)

Z4.36. LIKE-NP-I-EMB-3P-IT Like so many others, it was a teacher who changed the direction of my life, and to whom I’m forever indebted.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: Remember, the modifying phrase — in this case, “like so many others” — should be followed immediately by the noun or pronoun that the modifier refers to. Here, “it” is not the thing that is “like so many others.” Rephrase.)

Z4.37. PSP-I-EMB-3P  Known for its aggressive litigiousness and scorched-earth public relations approach, the church’s latest target is The New Yorker, which in February published a 25,000-word article that painted Scientology as corrupt and cultish.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: Here’s a classic example of a dangling participle that could actually confuse a reader. We meant to say that the Church of Scientology — not “the church’s latest target” — is known for its litigiousness.)

Z4.38. SUB(once)-NP-I-EMB-3P 
[Caption] BOOM: Once a cold-weather destination, tourists are flocking to Miami Beach in summer, too. Left, the pool at the Standard in Miami Beach.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: The appositive phrase refers to Miami Beach, but we’ve connected it to “tourists.”)

Z4.39. PSP-I-POSS-3P-OK 
Always drawn to the sciences, Mr. Kaido’s interest in progressive politics grew in 1970, after he entered the law department at the University of Tokyo, a steppingstone for the country’s elite.

(Phil Corbett’s commentary: This is probably the most common dangler situation. The person described by the modifying phrase, Mr. Kaido, does come immediately after the phrase — but as a possessive modifier, not as a noun. Strictly speaking, in this formulation the introductory phrase is modifying “interest,” which is not what we intended.)

Z4.40.  SUB(after)-PRP(BE)-F-POSS-3P  Her death comes little more than a week after being injured in a training accident.
(NPR news bulletin 1/20/12 about Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke)

Z4.41.  PRP(HV)-I-EMB-1P-IT-OK  Having pursued an education and career in science for most of the last 50 years, it is the prospect of solving the next problem that has got me out of bed every morning.
(letter to NewScientist2/11/12, p. 32-3)

Z4.42. AGE-F-CON&POSS-3P  From an obituary in the Wiltshire Times of 17 February, submitted by Alan Jones: “Mr [B] grew up in the East End of London but when his mother died at the age of five he was sent to a Dr Barnado’s [sic] home”.
(World Wide Words#775  2/25/12)

Z4.43. ASA-NP-I-CON-1P  The first, the very first, comment was from a self-described English professor, Renne Schuls-Jacobson, who commented, “As an English professor, there are, in fact, formal rules for writing. We can choose to break or disregard the rules but ‘irregardless’ is NOT a word. And just because something has become ‘widely accepted’ or ‘broadly used’ doesn’t mean that it is actually proper.”

Z4.44. ASA-NP-I-0-1P  As the father of two black teenage boys, this case hits close to home.
(Charles M. Blow, “The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin”, NYT3/17/12, p. A19)

Z4.45.  APP-NP-I-POSS-3P Caption with Kim Jong-il obituary] An unknowable figure, even his exact birth date was unclear.

(Phillip B.Corbett “Warning: Danglers Ahead”, 1/3/12. Corbett’s commentary: If we use this construction, the appositive phrase “an unknowable figure” should be followed immediately by the noun or pronoun the appositive refers to (“he” or “Mr. Kim.”) Or rephrase: “He was an unknowable figure; even his exact birth date was unclear.”)

Z4.46. SUB(after)-PRP-I-EMB-3P  After moving back to Moscow in 1984, and from there to Soviet Georgia, friends told of her going again to America, then to England, then to France, then back to America, then to England again, and on and on.
(Corbett 1/3/12. Corbett’s commentary: The friends did not move back. Simple fix: “After she moved back ….”)

Z4.47. PSP-I-EMB-3P  Now often criticized by conservatives as a costly expansion of Medicare — and thus, potentially problematic for Mr. Gingrich — many Republicans supported the measure at the time as a way to increase prescription coverage by relying on the private market.
(Corbett 1/3/12.  Corbett’s commentary: What was “often criticized” was not “many Republicans.” One fix: “Now often criticized … the measure was supported by many Republicans at the time.”)

Z4.48. LIKE-NP-I-CON&EMB-3P  In paramilitary institutions like the Police Department, long and complicated names and acronyms can be a way of insulating insiders or keeping things private. Like a confidential password, only those in the know are privy to the insider titles and unit names. The order did not lay out a rationale for the name changes.
(Corbett 1/3/12. Corbett’s commentary: “Those in the know” are not “like a confidential password.” Rephrase.)

Z4.49. UNLIKE-NP-I-EMB-3P  Unlike the communal cheese pot, which was free, Sardi’s is charging $3 for a small pot of cheese and a couple of crackers and $5 for a large pot.
(Corbett 1/3/12. Corbett’s commentary: Same problem, in the negative. It is not Sardi’s that is “unlike the communal cheese pot.” One simple fix: “Unlike the communal cheese pot, which was free, a small pot of cheese will now cost $3 ….”)

Z4.50.  WITH-NP-I-EMB-3P  Along with vaccinations, few public health efforts have the capacity to save as many lives as those that combat smoking.
(Gardiner Harris, “U.S. Backs Antismoking Ad Campaign”, NYT3/15/12, p. A19)

Z4.51. SUB(when)-PSP-I-Poss-3P  At one show in particular, ex-Germs/45 Grave drummer Don Bolles went to review the band’s live performance for the L.A. Weekly newspaper and gave the band a favorable review. The following week the band went to Bolles’ apartment in hopes of persuading him to join the group. When asked to join the band, Bolles’ pet rat went into a spastic fit and diedBolles took this as some sort of strange sign and joined the group cementing his spot as the band’s permanent drummer.
(ML, 4/15/12: Skipping the rat:

Z4.52. SUB(while)-PRP-I-0-1P  While listening to SiriusXM radio’s 50’s channel this morning they played the novelty song ‘Alley Oop’ (the older members will undoubtedly recall the exceedingly silly song).
(Geoff Nathan posting to ADS-L  4/20/12)

Z4.53. SUB(after)-PRP-I-EMB-3P  A misplaced modifier came via Ed Cassidy from the Niagara Gazette of Niagara Falls on 12 April: “After reportedly stealing a six-pack of beer from a Niagara Street convenience store on Wednesday morning, two Falls Narcotics Division detectives managed to collar Crogan [the alleged bank robber] later in the afternoon.”
(World Wide Words #783, 4/21/12)

Z4.54. SUB(while)-PRP-I-EMB-1P  While doing one of my many daily Google searches, a pop-up software ad appeared on my screen, advising me: Please consider cleaning your Mac from junk.
(AMZ on “Reversed CLEAR verbs” on AZBlog 4/27/12)

Z4.55.  ASA-NP-I-0-1P A lot of pundits have been kind of analyzing, oh, what does it mean and why did he do it. But as a gay man who’s been an activist for almost 40 years now, it was an extraordinarily moving thing to hear an unequivocal statement to the effect that gay love was the equal to opposite sex and attraction.
(Armistead Maupin on NPR  5/12/12, re Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage:

Z4.56.  SUB(despite)-PRP(BE)-I-EMB-3P Andrew Haynes found this fine sentence in London’s Metro freesheet on 14 May: “Despite not being a conventional beauty, author Will Self has called this post-war concrete structure the capital’s most important building.”
(World Wide Words #786  5/26/12)

Z4.57.  ASA-NP-I-0-1P As an alum working for the U.S. government in the immigration agrena, it is good to see PAW shedding some light on the complexity of the system.
(letter to Princeton Alumni Weekly, 6/6/12, from Peter Schmalz ’89 of Essex Junction VT)

Z4.58. PRP-I-0-1P  Living in Catalonia this year and actually researching bilinguals the contrasts and similarities [to the situation in Montreal] are striking.
(comment by Michael Newman on Language Log, 6/16/12)

Z4.59. PRP(being)-I-CON-1P [Christopher Walker] has just done an actual test & determined that I do like Dos Equis (I knew that of course) but for just drinking a beer out of the bottle I like Beck’s even better. (Not being much of a drinker it is a rare phenomenon to have 2 brands in the fridge at the same time.)
(on Facebook, 7/4/12)

Z4.60. PRP(having)-I-EMB-1P Having lived in both LA and NY, this story really moved me.
(Jen Dewalt on Facebook 7/9/12)

Z4.61. PRP-I-0-2P?  Bill Blinn heard this on WOSU radio on 31 July: “Driving along the state’s highways, most of the corn and soybean crops look healthy.” He feels that “the average corn or soybean plant that is able to drive would, by definition, be pretty darned healthy.”
(World Wide Words #796  8/4/12)

Z4.62. SUB(while)-PP-I-EMB-1P  While in graduate school, not a day went by without me damning and cursing the APA stylebook.
(comment by GVM-Williams  7/30/11 on Economist blog http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/07/grammar)

Z4.63. SUB(although)-PSP-I-EMB-3P  Spence Putnam wondered if his local law had gone on a binge after reading this police press release in the Burlington Free Press of 4 August: “Although apparently intoxicated, Vermont law does not allow for someone to be charged with DUI [Driving under the influence] for operating an electric personal assistive mobility device.” (The electric personal assistive mobility device turned out to be a motorised shopping cart.)
(World Wide Words #797  8/11/12)

Z4.64. PRP-I-0-1P  “Growing up in California, it was illegal for Asians to marry whites. How times have changed. I married a white DUDE. And an adorable one, too!” ~George Takei
(on Facebook 8/20/12)

Z4.65. ASA-NP-I-OBJ-1P As someone who lives amidst piles of books, with more coming in all the time, the cartoon speaks to me.

Z4.66. PSP-I-CON/OBJ-3P “Initiated by the Bush administration in 2007, the Obama administration has extended the Merida Initiative indefinitely.”

A friend of a friend on Facebook ranted:
“The way the above sentence is constructed, it reads like the Obama administration was initiated by the Bush administration in 2007. The political content of the sentence is irrelevant – I’ve seen this crop up EVERYWHERE… Writers, please stop doing this. Thank you.”
(from Ben Zimmer in e-mail 9/7/12)

more context:
The centerpiece of US policy on Mexico is the Merida Initiative, a US government program that has spent $1.3 billion on “training and equipping Mexican security forces engaged in counterdrug efforts,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

Initiated by the Bush administration in 2007, the Obama administration has extended the Merida Initiative indefinitely. This money has gone to federal police and the military, which have been deployed throughout Mexico to crackdown on drug cartels.
[that is, this portion of the story is aboutthe Merida Initiative]

Z4.67. SUB(once)-PSP-I-EMB-3P  Did any editor or copy editor [at Yale Univ. Press] even glance at the text before it was automatically reprinted from the British edition? A standard proofreading could at least have spared us the danglers (a single example will suffice: “Once read, one will never forget the rabbit …”) …
(Robert Gottlieb, “A Very Lush Garland of Writers”, review of John Sutherland, Lives of the Novelists: A History of Fiction in 294 Lives, NYRB8/16/12, p. 76)

context [from ch. 68 on Thomas Hardy]:
But of the great novelists of his time, Hardy qualifies as the most thoughtful, and most morbidly sensitive, spectator of hangings. Hanging is central to the short stories ‘The Withered Arm’ and ‘The Three Strangers’. Once read, one will never forget the rabbit (‘hanged by the leg’) squealing night-long in Jude the Obscure, nor Little Father Time and his two siblings hanged by the neck, on the clothes-hook in the lodging-house wardrobe.

Z4.68. SUB(after)-PRP-F-POSS-3P  Iceland’s Economy now growing faster than the U.S. and EU after arresting corrupt bankers
(headline: http://americanlivewire.com/world-economic-news-icelands-economy-now-growing-fas/; almost satisfies Subject Rule, disregarding intervening eligible NPs, as is usual for F SPARs)

Z4.69. SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON-3P
from GKP 10/3/12:
was surprised to find that I got the dangler reaction to this sentence:

The sheriff’s office said that hours after releasing the pictures to the public, 52-year-old Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez turned herself in to police.


Ms Gutierrez was NOT the one who released the pictures; it was the sherriff’s office.  And the correct NP to provide the gerund-participial “release” clause with a subject is right there, preceding it, in the same sentence.  Yet still, I found, despite already knowing who released the pictures of Ms Gutierrez illegally riding a sea cow, I got the wrong target of predication coming through, and did the standard one-second double-take and re-reading.  The urge for cataphoric resolution of absent subjects of non-finite clauses when they are preposed adjuncts seems to be very strong.

Z4.70. SUB(after)-PRP-I-EMB-3P  After Dissing Spain, AP Says Romney Might Need Lesson in Diplomacy 101
headline: http://www.politicususa.com/mitt-twit-strikes-spain-romney-lesson-diplomacy-101.html

Z4.71. ASA-NP-I-EMB-1P  Robert Ofcrosskeys As a direct descendent of Harold [King Harold II of England, defeated by William the Conqueror in 1066], the Normans cost me a castle or two.
(comment on John McIntyre Facebook posting of 10/14/12)

Z4.72. LIKE-NP-I-POSS-3P Like many Iowa farmers, [Gary] Plunkett’s corn harvest numbers have gyrated …
(NPR Morning Edition 10/17/12, “Farmers Cautious of Drought-Resistant Seeds”)

Z4.73. ASA-N-I-EMB-1P As a former editor and proof-reader, one of the things that interests me is words and how people use them …
(Notes from underground blog 10/18/12:

Z4.74. SUB(before)-PRP-F-[see note]-3P Morgan Black spices up his sex life with Christopher Daniels by soaking him in piss before fucking each other.
(ad copy for Lucas raunch film The Wetter the Better, Jan. 2013; note: split controller (SUBJ & OBJ))

Z4.75.  PRP(HV)-I-0-1P “The Palace of Fine Arts is a citywide asset but it’s also smack in the middle of a neighborhood,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, whose district includes the neighborhood and a member of the advisory panel. “Having grown up two blocks away, it’s been a magnet for family and young children for decades and I’d like to see that continue.”
(second-last paragraph of:
from Ned Deily 1/21/13)

Z4.76. PSP-I-EMB-3P  You may have heard of the snake that stowed away under the wing of an aircraft in Australia. Michael Duffy tells us that ABC North Queensland reported on 10 January the words of the passenger, Rob Weber, who had photographed the snake: “Believed to be a scrub python, Mr Webber [sic] wrote that he felt sympathy for the scaly reptile.”
(World Wide Words #815, 1/19/13; full context probably has previous mention)

Z4.77. PRP-I-split controller SUBJ+OBJ-1P+3P  My wife Debbie and I have an adage: if you see someone you know but don’t normally encounter multiple times in a short period, the universe or God is trying to tell you something. When I saw my cousin walking past my house I mentioned it to my siblings and thought nothing more of it. Weeks later, when I spotted my relative in a cafe, I knew I was supposed to learn something.
Growing up on different coasts, I rarely saw Charles. His family lived on the East Coast. We didn’t see them more than once a year.
(Steven Moss, KQED Perspectives column “Transformation” 3/13/13:

Z4.78. SUB(if)-PSP-I-0-GEN Pete Sinclair found this on the BBC Scotland website on 25 March: “A poisonous spider from India has been found inside a couple’s fridge in Fife. The exotic species, which is from the wolf spider family, is not deadly but, if bitten, it would leave a bad sting.”
(World Wide Words #825  3/30/13)

Z4.79. PRP(BE)-I-EMB-3P “Being very important to the system, most Linux filesystems have a backup copy of the superblock at regular intervals, while also being retained in memory.”
(Linux Utilities Cookbook, James Kent Lewis, 2013, p 38 (from EDZ))

Z4.80. PRP(BE)-I-CON/EMB-3P  The Five Gyres Institute, for example, is campaigning to phase out the use of plastic microbeads in facial scrubs and other consumer products in favour of natural alternatives made from such materials as apricot husks. Sewage treatment plants do not capture all the beadswhich wash down the drain, so some inevitably end up in the sea. And being so small, no one really knows where they are going.
(The Economist 12/13/14, “Charting the plastic waters”, p. 81)

Z4.81.  PRP-I-0-1P Growing up in Chicago in the ’40’s “crickets” were popular, a useless but irritatingly noisy toy. Since replaced by bubble wrap.
(Paul Johnson on ADS-L 3/12/15)

Z4.82.  SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON/POSS/EMB-3P  In fact, after suffering two bouts of pneumonia, brought on by John’s loss of muscular ability to swallow correctly, his doctor determined that John had six months or less to live and prescribed hospice care.
(Diane Rehm, letter toNYTon 3/25/15)

Z4.83.  ASA-NP-I-POSS-1P  “As someone who has never run a negative political ad in his life, my campaign will be driven by issues and serious debate.”
(Bernie Sanders, reported by Mike Pope on Facebook, June 2015)
6/2/12: as a SPAR:

Z4.84.  PRP(BE)-I-0-3P  From the Queerty interview with Skjellerup:
What will you guys wear?
Well, being one of the hottest days in Hawaii, our attire will definitely be a less uptight, more upscale beach feel.

Bonus: a dangler apparently by reduction from it being one of the hottest days in Hawaii

Z4.85   SUB(after)-PRP-I-CON/EMB-3P  Diggs has built a bankable career largely by playing successful black men, with not a gang member or drug fiend among them. I admire him for finding gold in that small niche, but after representing so many role models, I can see why he wants to break out and be outrageous [by playing Hedwig]. It will be a reach …
(p. 27 of James Hannaham, “Transformation: The straight sex symbol Taye Diggs prepares to take on the most gender-bending role on Broadway”, NYT Magazine, 7/26/15; in the middle of this article about Diggs)

Z4.86   PRP/PSP-I-OBJ-3P  He passes Wen’s grasshopper jar; sunlight flares off the glass and aluminum lid (screwed on tightly) as though saying see me, see me. Lying on its side and sunk into the taller grass, the earth is already absorbing it, consuming the evidence of its existence.
(p.175 of Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World, from Josh Bischof 11/23/18)

Z4.87 SUB(due to)-I-EMB-3P TIL [Today I Learned] Due to their reclusive nature, scientists are unsure how long a pangolin lives in the wild.”
(On Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/g3n9c0/til_due_to_their_reclusive_nature_scientists_are/)