Short Splinters

Common problems

  1. Word Choice. Failure to select the most appropriate word made prose confusing, ineffective, and sometimes actively misleading. I marked some, and indicated others by sentence's unsatisfactory performance.
  2. Lack of real characters as subjects. Many sentences died before the verb because subject was a "nonentity." As bad were those where subject was so long that reader quit waiting for verb. In both cases, new material never had a chance to be noticed.
  3. Grammar problems. All over the map. To my surprise the dangling participle is alive and well. I keep hoping HS teachers and the first two writing courses will eradicate it. See below.

Dangling Participle (DP)

From an example this quarter, I have changed all nouns/verbs to protect the guilty.

Watching the car's speed an accident occurred.

And it wouldn't be any better if last verb were "avoided." In neither case would reader know who is watching (or not watching). Note that it doesn't get any better with

Watching the car's speed, the oncoming car kills its driver.

More details can be found at Mark Damen. Please note last two paragraphs that focus on two bad actors in scientific prose.

Standard typos and such


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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