MET workshop: grammar pathway minisession

Tagging along: dangling participles, adverbial disjuncts and other hangers-on

Facilitator: Irwin Temkin

For some, adverbial disjuncts, like interestingly or personally, are shortcuts that may be acceptable in colloquial language but not in academic writing. Other writers are less categorical but will still avoid disjunctives like hopefully or importantly. Another category of disjuncts, the reduced adverbial clause, can also cause problems, giving rise to the dreaded dangling participle. Based on an examination of the use of adverbial disjuncts in various genres (oops! there’s another disjunct!), we will attempt in this session to explore this area of grammar/style so that we can use such disjuncts appropriately when we wish to or can recognize them easily if we wish to edit them out.

About the facilitator: Irwin Temkin has been an EFL/ESL teacher and teacher trainer for over 40 years and branched out into translating and authors’ editing later in life. His interest in grammar came initially through his study of other languages; this, perhaps, has been responsible for his somewhat “relativist” attitude at odds with the “absolutist” dictates of some prescriptive grammarians, professional or otherwise.