“Floating in the pool, I gazed at the fluffy white clouds,” versus “Floating in the pool, the fluffy white clouds looked beautiful as I gazed at them.” — THIS is why some people have gotten the notion that beginning a sentence with an -ing word — ANY -ing word, for ANY reason — is incorrect. Read this post by Susan Uttendorfsky and learn how to identify dangling participles, how to avoid them, and how to use participles the right way.
Split Infinitives and Dangling Participles
Editors frequently correct both of these, but one is actually ok to use, while the other is not. Care to make a wager on which one is which before I get started?
What is a split infinitive, after all? It’s a sentence where a word, usually an adverb, interrupts a full verb (or full infinitive). A full infinitive is the verb with the word “to” in front of it—to run, to walk, to spit. The most famous split infinitive is “to boldly go.” Editors and teachers used to mark this as incorrect, but it’s all right to spit an infinitive. Some examples are:
Lyn continued to quickly run toward the burning building.
Willow wanted to generously sprinkle sugar on her doughnut.
Earl’s dog struggled to boldly chase the skunk.
If you want to avoid irritating some readers who will read these words…
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