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ravi_iitian
Member

A question of grammar

Is the following sentence correct? Smiley Happy

 

As a property of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.

"Certa bonum certamen"
ACCEPTED SOLUTION

 

 

 


@John K wrote:

Nichola, we have a difference of interpretation.

 

Suppose I take the first sentence, "As a property of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs." and change it to "As an employee of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.", is the modifier still misplaced? Syntax to me means primarily the order in which words are placed.

 

Or with the second sentence, "After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off.", I change it to "After waiting for three hours, we turned the oven off." is there still a dangling modifier?

 

Even semantically, the original sentences could be correct, let alone semantically. For instance, as Tony observed, what if Chris Knight *was* a property of SparkNET -- for example, let's say this was taken from an SF novel, and Chris Knight is the name of a robot or an AI.

 

Likewise, 'roasting' might be used in a humorous sense, as in taking place in a hot kitchen on a hot day, and with the oven on, the kitchen help were figuratively roasting.



 

 

 

"As an employee of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.", is the modifier still misplaced?

 

But you have also changed the meaning by adding a word and "site" still needs to be explained.  You have assumed from the way the sentence was written (incorrectly) that Chris Knight is the property of SparkNET. The site that Chris Knight manages belongs to SparkNET.

 

As a property of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.

 

For example: Chris Knight manages the site, a property of SparkNET, along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.

 

 

In the second sentence, because of the dangling modifier, the sentence is open to any interpretation you give it.

 

By replacing "roasting" with "waiting", you have completely altered the meaning, but you still need to qualify "waiting", unless possibly, the preceding sentence saves it.

 

After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off. (A preceding sentence is not likely to help this one)

 

For example: We decided to slow-cook the chicken. After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off.

 

Even though it's clear the chicken is being roasted, the second sentence still needs a target word.

 

We decided to slow-cook the chicken. After roasting it for three hours, we turned the oven off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 REPLIES 23
prestonhunter
Member

No.

tlbp
Member

Only if Chris Knight belongs to Sparknet as its property. Robot Happy

@Tonya

 

If you Google, you will find the page I found this on.

"Certa bonum certamen"

I'd have to disagree a bit here. The sentence is grammatically correct, but factually probably incorrect. Factually false sentences can be entirely grammatical, such as "The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn."

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

@John

 

How about this one:

 

After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off.

"Certa bonum certamen"

Good one, but still the same answer, grammatical.

 

Here's one that's ungrammatical, but classic: "I should of stood in bed."

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

re: "The sentence is grammatically correct, but factually probably incorrect."

 

I would not say something like that.

 

The writer is not confused about the facts in this situation.

 

The writer is using grammar incorrectly.

 

So I'm not sure how it is helpful or even correct to say that the sentence is grammatically correct.

 

If the writer wrote that Chris Jones manages the site, but it is really Chris Knight who manages the site, I would be inclined to say that the sentence is "factually incorrect."

 

The fact that the writer put words and phrases in the wrong place in this sentence suggests to me that the sentence is, indeed, "grammatically incorrect," even though the sentence's actual structure could be construed as correct if the facts were different.

Put another way, if you were taking a test, and asked to put a big X next to sentences which are grammatically incorrect... would you mark this one?

You might if you were an MIT linguist. From Wikipedia,

 

"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in his 1957 book Syntactic Structures as an example of a sentence that is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsensical.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorless_green_ideas_sleep_furiously

 

Please forgive the random colors, they're an artifact of copy/pasting. And please also forgive my pointing out something fairly obvious, that even if an idea could sleep furiously, it couldn't be both colorless and green, unless one or both adjectives were used figuratively. And lastly, please forbear from pointing out that I'm making an appeal to authority -- it's justified in my mind by being able to inject this celebrated sentence into the discussion.  Cat Very Happy 

 

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Both sentences that Ravindra gave are incorrect.

 

The first has a misplaced modifier and needs to be rewritten to be closer to the noun it is modifying.

 

The second has a dangling modifier. There is no target word/noun to be modified and needs to be added.

Nichola, we have a difference of interpretation.

 

Suppose I take the first sentence, "As a property of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs." and change it to "As an employee of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.", is the modifier still misplaced? Syntax to me means primarily the order in which words are placed.

 

Or with the second sentence, "After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off.", I change it to "After waiting for three hours, we turned the oven off." is there still a dangling modifier?

 

Even semantically, the original sentences could be correct, let alone grammatically. For instance, as Tonya observed, what if Chris Knight *was* a property of SparkNET -- for example, let's say this was taken from an SF novel, and Chris Knight is the name of a robot or an AI.

 

Likewise, 'roasting' might be used in a humorous sense, as in taking place in a hot kitchen on a hot day, and with the oven on, the kitchen help were figuratively roasting.

 

I'll try one last example and then I'm withdrawing from the discussion, because I can't think of anything else to add. I'm making a distinction between 'ungrammatical' and 'incorrect'. "The sum of one and one is three." is incorrect, but grammatical, in my interpretation. And the title of this topic was "A question of grammar", not something like "Is this sentence correct."

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

As a property (proprietor) of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs."

 

 

 


@John K wrote:

Nichola, we have a difference of interpretation.

 

Suppose I take the first sentence, "As a property of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs." and change it to "As an employee of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.", is the modifier still misplaced? Syntax to me means primarily the order in which words are placed.

 

Or with the second sentence, "After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off.", I change it to "After waiting for three hours, we turned the oven off." is there still a dangling modifier?

 

Even semantically, the original sentences could be correct, let alone semantically. For instance, as Tony observed, what if Chris Knight *was* a property of SparkNET -- for example, let's say this was taken from an SF novel, and Chris Knight is the name of a robot or an AI.

 

Likewise, 'roasting' might be used in a humorous sense, as in taking place in a hot kitchen on a hot day, and with the oven on, the kitchen help were figuratively roasting.



 

 

 

"As an employee of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.", is the modifier still misplaced?

 

But you have also changed the meaning by adding a word and "site" still needs to be explained.  You have assumed from the way the sentence was written (incorrectly) that Chris Knight is the property of SparkNET. The site that Chris Knight manages belongs to SparkNET.

 

As a property of SparkNET, Chris Knight manages the site along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.

 

For example: Chris Knight manages the site, a property of SparkNET, along with a dedicated team of passionate folks working to meet your needs.

 

 

In the second sentence, because of the dangling modifier, the sentence is open to any interpretation you give it.

 

By replacing "roasting" with "waiting", you have completely altered the meaning, but you still need to qualify "waiting", unless possibly, the preceding sentence saves it.

 

After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off. (A preceding sentence is not likely to help this one)

 

For example: We decided to slow-cook the chicken. After roasting for three hours, we turned the oven off.

 

Even though it's clear the chicken is being roasted, the second sentence still needs a target word.

 

We decided to slow-cook the chicken. After roasting it for three hours, we turned the oven off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

โ€œSome people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way.โ€


โ€• Steve Martin

Look!

 

It's the grammar versus rhetoric argument!

 

Getting your message across is as much rhetoric as grammar. 

 

I believe that is the point John is making using many more words than I.

 

The words can go together correctly following all the rules of grammar but still not make good rhetoric.

The OP gave two sentences with two slightly different grammatical errors. It would not be my job as an editor to completely change the meaning, but to make the meaning clear, or clearer of what has already been written.

 

The clearer the writing - the more persuasive the message. Rhetoric is too often confused with waffle.

 

 

 

The purpose of rhetoric is to clearly describe and provide information about waffles. 

 

Good rhetoric delineates the waffles from the pancakes.  Don't get me started on the crepes.


@Cheryl K wrote:

The purpose of rhetoric is to clearly describe and provide information about waffles. 

 

Good rhetoric delineates the waffles from the pancakes.  Don't get me started on the crepes.


 Exactly. So if you start mixing a waffle recipe with a pancake recipe your gastronomic equivalent of rhetoric is not going to work!

pass the syrup, now I'm hungry!


@Cheryl K wrote:

pass the syrup, now I'm hungry!


 Cheryl, I am on a draconian diet - don't even mention syrup and waffles!  I even want to lick my fingers when I put whatever ghastly substances go into my dog's bowl!

In Corky Romano, when Corky (Chris Kattan) refers to a dangling participle, his brother looks down at his pants!

"Certa bonum certamen"


@John K wrote:

I'd have to disagree a bit here. The sentence is grammatically correct, but factually probably incorrect. Factually false sentences can be entirely grammatical, such as "The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn."


Fair point, but as a matter of function, at least, a grammatically correct sentence properly expresses what the author intended to say. The question isn't one of factual accuracy so much as clarity. 

Was going to write something, reconsidered on further reflection. Whew! Close one. Cat Very Happy

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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