Lately, I have been inundated with more offers than usual – both online and offline. You know the kind. They all begin with an introduction similar to this one:
“As a valued subscriber to XYZ, I would love to offer you an exclusive discount on 123.”
Did you spot the error? Are you making the same mistake over and over again?
It’s called a dangling modifier, with the modifier being the phrase, “As a valued subscriber to XYZ…” This refers to you the subscriber. All very well and clear.
However, things get muddled when this is incorrectly followed by the next phrase beginning, “I would love…” This refers to the author of the piece, which is quite clearly not the subject it is intended to describe (or ‘modify’).
The correct version should be: “As a valued subscriber to XYZ, you are entitled to an exclusive discount on 123.”
Here the subject, “you,” appears directly after the modifier describing it.
A moot point, but even the simplest of mistakes can lead to confusion, or worse lost sales. Paying attention to modifiers could go a long way to saving the day (and a red face!).
COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley