If you've followed this blog, you know I love misplaced modifiers. They pop up everywhere, and they're often very funny. However, it's probably best that they not appear on the Web site for a national chain of bookstores. Professionals who are out there in front of millions of potential readers need to write carefully.
Here's the little gem that's the reason for this post. I stumbled across it this morning. I won't tell you what store or what book because I'm not in the business of embarrassing people, but this is what it said:
" ... is a charming debut written by the late [author's name], who finished the novel as her health declined with the help of her niece. " The book in question is, I believe, as charming as the blurb writer says it is, but it it's unfortunate to read that the author's declining health was helped along by her niece.
Of course, we know that's not what the writer meant. Unfortunately, it's what the writer wrote. And I had to stop for a minute to sort it out.
Proofreading is more than getting the commas right. Every writer needs to read his or her own work--and then read it again.