Confusing Syntax

The following sentence is a good example of confusing syntax:

My office was at the far end of the pier, a large space with a high arching window overlooking the bay and the East Bay cities and hills.

Whoa, there. Because of the syntax (the way the words are put together), this sentence says that the pier is a large space with a high arching window overlooking the bay and the East Bay cities and hills. That’s certainly not what the author intended.

Here are a two ways to correct the syntax and eliminate confusion:

My office–a large space with a high arching window overlooking the bay and the East Bay cities and hills–was at the far end of the pier.

At the far end of the pier was my office, a large space with a high arching window overlooking the bay and the East Bay cities and hills.

Questions? Comments?

Cheers,

Tara Treasurefield

About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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