Thou shalt not create a dangling participle.

A dangling participle was the supreme no-no in Mrs. Wagner's English class.  It may not get as much attention today, but it still creates confused writing.  Consider this sentence from an article in a recent issue of 280 Living:

Suffering from depression, financial concerns, marital problems and mourning the loss of his mother a year earlier, (this woman) believes her father was actually dealing with undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

THIS WOMAN (the daughter) is the subject of this sentence. An ING phrase set in front of that subject should describe the subject, but in reality, it is the FATHER who has had all these difficult experiences.  The writer needs to find a way to have the SUFFERING and MOURNING describe the father.  Here is my suggestion for a rewrite:

This woman believes her father, who suffered from depression, financial concerns and marital problems while mourning the loss of his mother a year earlier, was actually dealing with undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

 

TODAY'S BONUS GRAMMAR GLITCH: This one appeared in a comment on the Grammar Glitch Central blog.

I get exactly where your coming from.  Whoops! YOUR is a possessive adjective used to describe a noun, as in IT IS YOUR FAULT….or YOUR GRAMMAR GLITCH IS SHOWING.

What this writer wants is the contraction of YOU + ARE.  The sentence should read: I get exactly where you're coming from.


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