For a sentence to make sense, the words must be presented in a logical sequence. If the words are not in reasonable order, the result can be ridiculous, as shown below:
^ Confusing syntax: We selected an investigator with considerable expertise in the field called Mike Miller.
Confusing syntax: The study involved a small group of children in a Swiss children's hospital with juvenile diabetes.
Is the expertise called Mike Miller? Does the Swiss hospital suffer from juvenile diabetes? Clearly, the investigator was called Mike Miller, and the children suffered from juvenile diabetes. Because we frequently overlook faulty syntax and extract the intended message, such errors of syntax may go unnoticed by both the writer and the editor.
^ Clear syntax: We selected an investigator called Mike Miller who has considerable expertise in the field.
^ Clear syntax: The study involved a small group of children with juvenile diabetes in a Swiss children's hospital.
Q Modifying phrases should be as close as possible to the words, phrases, or clauses they modify.
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