hey, some videos! 

I was struck by two recent Comma Queen videos at the New Yorker site.

The first one is interesting because Ms. Norris emphasizes a different aspect of danglers (dangling participles) than the New York Times style guide does.

The New Yorker rule is that the participal phrase has to modify the subject of the sentence (Ms. Norris gives examples). The rule at the Times is that a modifying phrase at the beginning of a sentence had to be followed immediately by the thing being modified. This is shown in this example from the (late, lamented) After Deadline blog:

A former House member who served as trade representative and budget director under President George W. Bush, his efforts at bipartisanship help him at home.

–This appositive phrase is a dangler. It should be in apposition with “he,” not with “his efforts.”

 
This video talks about whether we should use “who” or “that” when referring to an animal. The “who vs that” rule for people is one of my favorites, so I wanted to check this out.

The end of the video is the best part, though.

 
On another subject, whenever a new superhero movie comes out, people complain (with complete justification) about how the superhero movie world is so boy-centric. But there are five superhero movies centered around a woman, and now there’s going to be a sixth.

I can hardly wait. 🙂

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2 Responses to hey, some videos! 

  1. Maggie says:

    About “who” versus “that” for animals, it’s always easier for me to remember that if an animal has a name, it can be called a “who” — the other suggestion seems so suggestive. I also read somewhere that if the animal has done something noteworthy, it can therefore be called “who” — but who determines what is noteworthy? If an animal does some kind of human-like accomplishment?

  2. I agree — the name/no name thing is easy to remember and easy to implement.

    I’ll go with that, particularly because in my writing there’s only one “animal” — Daphne (who is definitely a “who”). 🙂

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