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It was a brilliant performance worthy of her name.

There's no problem here, but what if you then add this:

It was a brilliant performance delivered in silence worthy of her name.

What's worthy of the persons name is the performance, but in the second sentence, being the antecedent, it seems like it could be interpreted to mean the silence was worthy of her name. I don't think you could place a comma between silence and worthy, either.

I suppose you could say:

Delivered in silence, it was a brilliant performance worthy of her name.

But I only want to use that as a last resort.

  • ..silence worthy of her name is unacceptable for the reason you describe. – StoneyB Feb 10 '14 at 4:47
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    You could set the delivered in silence off by commas and keep the order: It was a brilliant performance, delivered in silence, worthy of her name. Or you can split it into two sentences. – virmaior Feb 10 '14 at 5:22
  • I was wondering if that were possible (setting the entire phrase off with commas). Think I'll go with that. – Sai Feb 10 '14 at 6:04
  • As virmaior suggests, all you need is a pair of commas to set off the parenthetical phrase. It was a brilliant performance, delivered in silence, worthy of her name. However, note that the impact is the adversely effected. – Kris Feb 10 '14 at 7:24
  • Or you could just switch the statements: It was a brilliant performance worthy of her name, (and) delivered in silence. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 30 '14 at 17:48
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As two different comments note, you need to introduce commas:

It was a brilliant performance, delivered in silence, worthy of her name.

You could also do something like:

It was a brilliant performance that was delivered in silence and was worthy of her name.

But this gets a little long. Other tweaks are available:

The brilliant performance was delivered in silence. It was worthy of her name.

But your original example is incorrect.

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The problem with the sentence "It was a brilliant performance delivered in silence worthy of her name" is indeed that the phrase "worthy of her name" logically attaches to silence, not (as desired) to performance. To my ear, however, most of the suggested workarounds either sound wordy ("It was...that was... and was...") or are marred by an oddly herky-jerky periodicity ("It was a brilliant performance, delivered in silence, worthy of her name").

I think that you would get a better-sounding sentence if you abandoned any attempt to stretch the original "It was a performance worthy of her name" wording to accommodate the additional detail that the performance was silent. It's not that the overstuffed results are incorrect; it's that they just don't sound very good. Here's a more concise wording that attempts to emulate the way a real person might express the underlying ideas in the OP's second example:

Her brilliant performance, delivered in silence, was worthy of her name.

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