Death by dangulation, or why syntax matters

Dangling modifer that says, "... until his death, where he continued to make records and do voiceover work."

This bizarre sentence crept into my life via a music app over the weekend.

It’s a good reminder that a dangling modifier is just as lethal at the end of a sentence as at the beginning.

It’s also a good reminder of the importance of proper syntax, or the way we arrange words in sentences. As John Bremner used to say, “For ungrammatical writers and speakers, there ought to be a sin tax.”

In this case, the writer could have avoided that sin tax with a little rearranging:

From the late 1970s until his death, Baldry lived in Canada, where he continued to make records and do voiceover work.

Even better:

Baldry lived in Canada from the late 1970s until his death. During that time, he continued to make records and do voiceover work.

In all writing, clarity counts.

Then again, perhaps some singers never truly die. They just continue to make records and do voiceover work.

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