Grade: Middle
Subject: Language

#2818. Misplaced Modifiers Will Kill You

Language, level: Middle
Posted Sun Feb 23 16:02:27 PST 2003 by Ashley Crowe (
Meadow Bridge High School (I'm a student), Meadow Bridge, WV.
Materials Required: Nothing, it's a story I wrote when I had to teach my 10th grade English Class.
Activity Time: 2 minutes.
Concepts Taught: Explaining the Importance of correctly placing modifying words and phrases in sentence structure.

A woman hires a hitman to get rid of her husband. On the day before he was supposed to do the deed, he met with her in the park. She slipped him an envelope with the money in it and says "Kill the man in the Mercedes with an American flag."
It puzzled the hitman why she wants him to use an American Flag to kill her husband but, he was hired to do a job and he decided he would do it no matter how obsurd it seemed.
The next morning, he recieves a call from the angry wife. She acuses him of not doing the job and he replies, "I don't know what you are talking about! I dropped him and the flag I killed him with in the river, it's not possible for him to be alive."
She pauses and then asks, "Why would you kill him with an American Flag."
"I thought ti was wierd too but, you said 'Kill the man in the black Mercedes with an American Flag' so, I snick up on the black Mercedes and choked the man inside with an American Flag."
The woman sighs hen replies, "No, I didn't want you to kill him with an American Flag! The car my husband drives has an American Flag across the back windshield!"
That is how a misplaced modifier can kill you!