Some dangling modifiers okay?
In this sentence, there's a dangling modifier:
- Researching the issue, it became clear the courts had not addressed the question.
But in The Fight for English, David Crystal says we're bent out of shape over nothing. No one in a million years, he says, would be confused here. It's obvious that an unnamed author is understood. Sure, dangling modifiers sometimes cause ambiguity:
- Surrounded by barbed wire, armed soldiers guarded the prisoners from watchtowers.
What do you think?
David Crystal, The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left 153 (Oxford U. Press 2006).