danglers (6). Today: Ending Sentences with Danglers. Traditionally, grammarians frowned on all danglers, but during the 20th century they generally loosened the strictures for a participial construction at the end of a sentence. Some early-20th-century grammarians might have disapproved of the following sentences, but such sentences have long been considered acceptable: o “Sarah stepped to the door, looking for her friend.” o “Toms arm hung useless, broken by the blow.” o Usually, as in the first example, the end-of-the-sentence dangler is introduced by a so-called coordinating participle: looking is equivalent to and looked. Similarly: o “Vexed by these frequent demands on her time, she finally called upon her friend, imploring him to come to her aid.” (“Imploring” = “and implored.”) o “The New Orleans-bound steamer rammed and sank the freighter ten miles from its destination, sending her to the bottom in ten minutes.” (“Sending” = “and sent.”) o “She died before her brother, leaving a husband and two children.” (“Leaving” = “and left.”) A few editors would consider each of those participles misattached, but in fact they are acceptable as coordinating participles. As for the few who object, what would they do with the following sentence: “The boy ran out of the house crying”? For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ———————— Quotation of the Day: “There is something profoundly unfortunate, we feel, about a person who lies much, and the best thing we can say about anyone who frequently gives us misleading information because of honest bad judgment is that he is a nuisance. Whenever speech is supposed to be informative in a factual sense, we ask that it be made up of clear statements and true ones, so far as that is possible.” Wendell Johnson, Verbal Man: The Enchantment of Words 20 (1956; repr. 1965).
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