Welcome back to Raya’s Dungeon, Chamber 3. In Part 1, we talked about Mutilated, Misplaced and Missing Modifiers. These boo boos can cause unintentional hilarity. Now, comic writing as an art gives writers a great feeling when we have achieved it. But to cause people to laugh when we don’t mean it sounds the death knell on our lovely dramatic piece. Part 2 deals with another way to make people laugh when we mean them to shiver, cry, or hold their breath. I give you…
Unattached Pronouns…or Distanced Antecedents
Here we are talking about it and they and other unattached pronouns that refer to absolutely nothing in the sentence and give entirely the wrong meaning. Better to have too many proper names or real nouns than pronouns bouncing around with no social conscience and very little sense, lonely and misunderstood. (Yup, real life again.) Take a look.
Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for the Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool while you drink it all in. (Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!)
Mt. Kilimanjaro, the breathtaking backdrop for the Serena Lodge. Swim in the lovely pool, relax and drink in all the beauty of your surroundings.
We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand. (That’s what makes us the tearminators! muahahahaaaaaa)
We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We clean each piece of clothing carefully by hand.
Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it. (Ooooh, kinkyyy!)
Tired of doing the cleaning all by yourself? Let me do it.
Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover. (If he’s as antique as the bed, he ain’t getting far!)
Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for a lover of antiques.
Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night. (They don’t want much, do they?)
Wanted: unmarried girls to works nights, picking fresh fruit and produce.
In a clothing store: “Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks.” (Dressing for their jobs at a sideshow?)
In a clothing store: “Wonderful bargains for men with neck sizes of 16 and 17.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come foreward and lay an egg on the alter. (What? The Easter Bunny was busy?)
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Lewis to come forward and place an egg on the altar. (Notice I couldn’t help correcting the two typos either – it’s a congenital condition lol)
In a Los Angeles dance hall: “Good clean dancing every night but Sunday.” (That’s why the hall is packed on Sundays.)
In a Los Angeles dance hall: “Good, clean dancing six nights a week. Closed Sundays.
So, when you’re finished your writing, put it aside for a minimum of an hour. One day would be better. Then take it out and read it. What looked like deathless prose to you now reveals its hidden laughs. Enjoy them, then change them, so your prose will now have more of the effect you intended.
Coming up in our next article is Missing or Mutilated Modifiers. They look horrible, really horrible and not for the faint of heart. But then, that’s what dungeons are for. muahahahahaaaa