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How many people cringe when they hear others' English mistakes? One peeve I have is the frequency with which many native English speakers misplace modifiers in their sentences. Consider this example, from a university catalog:

"For example, under this program, each student can expect to take at least one course in his or her area of concentration with a significant writing component."

Shouldn't this sentence properly read:

"For example, under this program, each student can expect to take at least one course with a significant writing component in his or her area of concentration."

In the first version, the placement of "with a significant writing component" at the end of the sentence implies that the area of concentration itself has a significant writing component, whereas in the second version, the course is correctly modified to have a significant writing component.

Or am I being too picky?
Comments  
I agree with you. The original sounds clumsy. My thoughts sort of jump when I read it and I have to piece everything together after having read it, reorganising the info I get.

I think that, if people weren't picky about these things, many misunderstandings would arise (though not here).

In some cases one might be misled and misread the sentence. The misplaced modifier might, under certain circumstances, refer to the wrong thing (grammatically) and confuse the reader.

I can't think of an example right now, though, but I'm sure there are loads.
Krmjr,

No, you are not being too picky. Do not ever apologize for expecting good English from people. You are only asking that they give you some competence.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the use of the word "or" for "and." For example,

"You have two choices: the beef or the pork."

Aaaaarrrrrrrggggggg!!!
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
yeah right.

or this... "i haven't got my book and my folder" (literally meaning I don't have both of them, but I have one of them) when you want to say "I haven't got my book or my folder" (which really means I don't have either of them with me)...