Friday, September 02, 2011

Modifiers


In regard to a recent discussion about grammar, a small bit of business about where one places modifiers, and how sentence construction has changed since I was a lad. 


Saw a bumper sticker recently: "I Only Drink Water." 


Which, if you read it properly, cannot possibly be true, else that driver wouldn't be operating a vehicle.


Adverbs are tricky. What s/he means is, "I drink only water," i.e., I  drink nothing but water. 


Not, the sole thing I do is drink water. 


Until, of course, I explode, since I apparently don't pee ...


Next time, "between" and "among ..."

1 comment:

Mendur said...

Funny. I read it as, "The only thing I do with water is drink it," which ALSO means the person couldn't be driving a car. I suppose that's one of the wonders and curses of the English language ... the ease with which a single misplaced word (or comma) can change the entire meaning.

It reminds me of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves."