air on the surface of the water create
resistance, which can slow down a
swimmer. Berkoff stayed under water as
long as he could, especially at the start
of a race and after reaching the wall and
kicking off for a return lap. Reporters
loved his maneuver and named it the
Berkoff, who won four Olympic
medals because of this specialized kick,
acknowledged that he probably would
not have made the Olympic team without
it. He admits that without the kick, he
was a good backstroker, but not a great
one. By the way, his revolutionary move
led to officials imposing a limit of 15
meters for swimming under water.
Here’s how an American sportscaster
reported on Berkoff’s race: “Using the
Berkoff Blastoff, we see David Berkoff
take the lead.” The sentence suggests that
“we” (the reporters) are using the Blastoff.
And, of course, it’s the swimmer who is
using the Blastoff. The modifying phrase
is misplaced. The participle just dangles. It
would have been much more clear to those
who heard the broadcast if the sportscaster
had said this: “We see David Berkoff take
the lead, using his famous Berkoff Blastoff!”
Underline the correct sentence in each pair.
1a. Being correctly typed, the boss
appreciated my report.
1b. Being correctly typed, my report
was appreciated by my boss.
2a. Walking rapidly down the hall, I
was startled by a noise.
2b. Walking rapidly down the hall, a
noise startled me.
3a. Being old and decrepit, I was able
to buy the house for a low price.
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