What is a Dangling Participle
The dangling participle may be the most egregious of the most common writing mistakes. Not only will this error damage the flow of your writing, it can also make it impossible for someone to understand what you’re trying to say.
fter rotting in the cellar for weeks, my brother brought up some oranges.
Uhh… keep your decomposing brother away from me!
Featuring plug-in circuit boards, we can strongly endorse this server’s flexibility and growth potential.
Hmmm… robotic copy written by people embedded with circuit boards. Makes sense.
The problem with both of the above is that the participial phrase that begins the sentence is not intended to modify what follows next in the sentence. However, readers mentally expect it to work that way, so your opening phrase should always modify what immediately follows. If it doesn’t, you’ve left the participle dangling, as well as your readers.
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