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ready to be used whenever necessary

Discussion in 'English Only' started by LQZ, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    A version of the document sat for years in a classified safe in New York, updated and rewritten by Michael Farbiarz, the lead prosecutor, as new evidence was developed, ready to be used whenever necessary. ---taken from the New York Times

    Dear all,

    I suppose the part in red is modifying new evdence, but need your confirmation. If my understanding is correct, should a comma be replaced with a and? Thanks.


    LQZ
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    I also think that "ready to be used whenever necessary" modifies "new evidence". I think it's a little smoother without the "and" after the comma.
     
  3. coolieinblue Senior Member

    Seoul,Korea
    Korean
    Hello, LQZ

    I think the red part is modifying 'A version of the document sat'
     
  4. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Hi, Coolie. Your remark made me re-read the sentence. I think you're right. This modifier sure has wandered a long way from the thing it was modifying. Maybe it's lost. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that many readers have joined it in the wilderness.
     
  5. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I agree with coolie in blue. The red part modifies "a version (of the document)". In other words, the sentence could be compressed to:

    A version of the document sat for years in a classified safe in New York, ready to be used whenever necessary.
     
  6. coolieinblue Senior Member

    Seoul,Korea
    Korean
    owlman5, I think you should be cautious.
    The original poster's suggestion often makes the next poster mistaken.
     
  7. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    I am not intentionally misleading anyone. :( When I have trouble understanding a sentence, I often post a thread to ask for help. Sadly, I was dead wrong this time.

    Thank you,everyone. :)
     
  8. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    Hi, LQZ. Though I certainly won't try to speak for Coolie, I don't think he was implying that you were trying to mislead anybody. Your opinion about the phrase and what it modified might have influenced mine. I don't know. What I do know is that I would have tried to find another way to write the sentence if it were my idea. Again, the modifier has been tacked on the end of several words that stand between it and the noun it modifies. That's enough to confuse a lot of people.
     
  9. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    Thank you, owlman5. :) I wouldn't complain.
     
  10. coolieinblue Senior Member

    Seoul,Korea
    Korean
    LQZ, very sorry!

    I meant original posters in general.
     
  11. LQZ

    LQZ Senior Member

    Canada
    Mandarin
    :)That is OK. Thank you for your help.
     

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