Is “pecking paradiddles” a dangler in this sentence and if so, how should I correct it?

"Pileated, splay-clawed peckerhead appears, an unfazed red-fezed rapiered musketeer grappled to a maple, pecking paradiddles."

I would like to avoid putting a comma between "musketeer" and "grappled," or deleting the comma and inserting "and" between "maple" and "pecking."

  • Why are you making your question harder to read? Putting the sentence in a quote area is standard practice as it makes it clearer what you're asking about.
    – Catija
    Aug 9, 2016 at 20:07
  • 1
    No; 'an unfazed red-fezed rapiered musketeer grappled to a maple' is a parenthetical (a delayed appositive). Aug 9, 2016 at 20:35
  • I apologize, Catija. I did not know I was "making [my] question harder to read." I certainly did not intend to cause confusion. I have just started using stackexchange, and maybe the format is a bit new to me. Aug 9, 2016 at 20:46
  • That's what I thought, Edwin Ashworth. Thanks! Aug 9, 2016 at 20:49
  • Note, however, that a woodpecker, having only one beak, cannot peck paradiddles. :) Aug 9, 2016 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


It is not a dangling modifier.

More to the point, however: even if it were one, it would make no sense to ask how to correct it, because dangling modifiers are not incorrect.

Dangling modifiers are grammatical in English, and they are grammatical in pretty much any other language you can name. You are of course free to make up any number of reasons for considering them poor style, but then the burden is entirely on you to come up with whatever clunky rewording it is that you happen to feel like preferring for no good reason at all.

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