Participle problems (NOT the dangling kind)


Hi There,


In recent months I've become increasingly aware of what seems to me to be a pervasive participle and participial phrase usage problem. There's a spate of writers using participles to describe successive rather than concurrent events. For instance a little while ago I came across the following two sentences while reading:


"She slid out of the booth, standing up."  (What an absurd and needlessly difficult way to slide out of a booth! Was she avoiding a spilled glass of water?)


"He dried himself off, wrapping the towel around his waist." (...but how did his upper body get dry?)


I've been seeing this type of construction in numerous places, written by many different authors, many of whom I quite respect and enjoy. So what's going on? I always thought that participles and participial phrases should only be used to describe the manner in which simultaneous, not subsequent, events are happening.


Are my objections unfounded? Is this 'serial event' style usage perfectly acceptable and I merely learned an overly restrictive style?


Thanks for your time,



participles asked Sep 21 '13 at 05:07 Kevin New member

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