2

Somewhere else on SE I came across the phrase "As an engineering prof, let me try to guess..." that felt like it had a dangling modifier. I suggested an edit, moving "let me" to the beginning of the sentence, and it started to sound much more agreeable to me, "Let me, as an engineering prof, try to guess..."

Erica Meltzer writes, "When a sentence opens with an introductory phrase that describes but does not name the subject, the subject must be placed immediately afterward. If the subject is not placed immediately afterward, a dangling modifier is created".

Mark Nichol, while being justifiably irritated by "As a member of a political minority in this area, it’s interesting how people here just assume you think the way they do", suggests the following fix, "As a member of a political minority in this area, it’s interesting to me how people here just assume you think the way they do", which does not sound proper to me, there is no subject immediately following the modifier.

Then I compare Nichol's example to the prof's phrase above, and it is the same construct, and if I move "to me" to the front, it sounds perfectly fine to me, "To me, as a member of a political minority in this area, it’s interesting how people here just assume you think the way they do".

So, the question: was the original phrasing by prof correct, and likewise is the fix suggested by Mark Nichol correct?

1
  • The prof's phrase is a shade ambiguous, but it's not like anyone will have trouble figuring out who will be doing the guessing. Better would be "As an engineering prof, I'll hazard a guess" or something close to that.
    – Robusto
    Jan 23, 2020 at 2:38

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.