Writing for Business

Jun 21 2012   8:14PM GMT

Put your modifiers in their places!

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

What’s wrong with the following sentence?
The enterprise application store is a variation on consumer-oriented app stores for mobile operating systems, such as the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Answer: It’s our old nemesis, the misplaced modifier.

Apple App Store and Google Play are consumer-oriented app stores, not mobile operating systems.

The writer clearly meant “such as the Apple App Store and Google play” to modify “consumer-oriented app stores” but because the clause follows “mobile operating systems,” it logically follows that that’s the reference.

See more fun with modifier mistakes in the University of Ottawa’s writing resouces.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

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