Throw Mama From the Train a Kiss

A misplaced modifier can be funny or just plain confusing. In any case, it ought to be corrected.


“Going out at night the medics gave you pills, Dexedrine breath like dead snakes kept too long in a jar.”


from Dispatches by Michael Herr


This says that the medics were going out at night. Using the second person (“gave you pills”) probably led to the mistake. There was no need to use it, because the rest of the passage is in the first person. Better: “When we went out at night, the medics gave us pills…”




“A son of the British Empire, Alan Turing’s social origins lay just on the borderline between the landed gentry and the commercial classes.”


from Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges


This says that Turing’s social origins were a son, which is nonsensical.