The Corner



Writing “which I responded to here” instead of “to which I responded here”

would not involve you in having dangled a participle, nor even in the lesser

syntactical crime — actually, pseudo-crime — of having ended a sentence

with a preposition. I refer you to Fowler’s entry headed “unattached

participles,” or (better, for my money) Follett’s headed “danglers.”

(Though you must then proceed straight through to read the following

article: “danglers, acceptable.”

Which reminds me of a Wodehouse moment I had many years ago. I was

attending a full-dress military event in a north of England town. The star

of the thing was a much-decorated elderly Brigadier, who came up from

Aldershot on the train. It had been arranged that he would stay overnight

at the home of my C.O., a Colonel, with a very prim and proper wife. The

Brigadier duly arrived at the house, parked his bags in the hall, and went

off to his bedroom to get kitted up for the event. This, for reasons I

forget, involved him pinning on his actual medals, a thing not easy to do

when you’ve already got your jacket on. A few minutes later, the downstairs

company was treated to the sight of this old soldier leaning over the

upstairs balcony, calling down to the Colonel’s wife: “Would you mind

coming up to the bedroom, my dear? I need help with my danglers.”


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