Posts Tagged ‘wording’

Where you put the modifiers matters!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

I am still adjusting to the three-day newspaper format and trying to become friends with AL.com. Here is a lead sentence from an article on AL.com on October 6:

Two units of the apartment complex at 4252 3rd Ave. S. this evening were damaged by fire and two others sustained smoke damage.

 

What I want to know is where this apartment complex is the rest of the time. By placing the descriptive phrase (modifier) THIS EVENING right after the location of the apartment complex, the sentence makes it sound as if the complex is only in this location THIS EVENING. The phrase THIS EVENING is meant to describe when the fire damage occurred, but it cannot do that if it is not placed correctly.  The sentence should read this way:

Two units of the apartment complex at 4252 3rd Ave. S. were damaged by fire this evening and two others sustained smoke damage.

Whenever you use modifiers or descriptive phrases (adjectives and adverbs), read back through your writing to make sure they describe what they should describe.