Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: danglers (5).

danglers (5). Today: Acceptable Danglers, or Disguised Conjunctions. Any number of present participles have been used as conjunctions or prepositions for so long that they have lost the participial duty of modifying specific nouns. In effect, the clauses they introduce are adverbial, standing apart from and commenting on the content of the sentence. Among the most common of these are “according,” “assuming,” “barring,” “concerning,” “considering,” “given,” “judging,” “owing to,” “regarding,” “respecting,” “speaking,” “taking” (usually with “account of,” or “into account”). Thus: o “Horticulturally speaking, the best way to prune the tree is probably to remove some of the lowest branches by cutting them off at the trunk.” Mary Robson, “Pine Needles Won’t Harm,” Seattle Times, 14 Aug. 1994, at G3. o “Assuming everyone shows up who’s supposed to (not a given in this sport of last-minute scratches), this could be the finest assemblage of talent for a Long Island road race in a decade.” John Hanc, “Cow Harbor Still Attracts Big Names,” Newsday (N.Y.), 18 Sept. 1997, at A94. o “Considering how hated Belichick was in Cleveland, it’s incredible that another owner would want him as a head coach.” John McClain, “John McClains NFL Report,” Houston Chron., 7 Dec. 1997, at 24. Next: Ending Sentences with Danglers. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ———————– Quotation of the Day: “A man who handles abstract ideas fluently, and the more fluently because he never feels them as anything more than abstract ideas, can do only a limited amount of good and may, in many circumstances, do harm.” John Wain, “An Instrument of Communication” (1958), in A Language Reader for Writers 227, 227 (James R. Gaskin & Jack Suberman eds., 1966).
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