Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Misplaced Modifiers...

So this is just going to confirm the fact that I am a huge dork but so be it.

I went to Southern Utah last weekend with my mother. And we're driving down I-15 just before you get to Nephi there's this sign. It says, "Young Living Family Farm". This sign has always confused me. At first glance it seems simple enough, it's a farm of some sort but here's where the confusion comes in. It's a farm, yes...but what kind of farm? Is Young a noun in this situation or is it an adjective? And if it's a noun then is "living" modifying "young" or is it modifying "family farm". OR is "family" actually an adjective too and modifying "farm". It's a farm but what kind of farm? It's a family farm.

OR could it be the Young Family Farm. As in this family, with the last name of Young...but then where does "living" come in? Is living modifying farm or family? So the farm is living? As in people are actually living on the the farm and working the farm? Or does it mean the family on the farm is living?

You think it stops there, but no it doesn't. Is "young" modifying the type of family that is living on the farm? It has to be a "young" family? So once they get old they have to move on and live somewhere else?

What they probably mean is "Young Family Living Farm". It's a touristy/historical site so I bet it's sort of like "This is the Place State Park". And the original owners of the farm was the Young Family and it's a Living Farm because people are actually working the farm...as they would have back in the day. Sort of like a Wheeler Farm.

But this sign has never made sense to me. In all the years my family has driven that road on all the trips down to Lake Powell, California and Southern Utah...it has always confused me and irritated me. Misplaced Modifiers....they wreak havoc wherever they go.


yes...i know...let's all say it together..."Kelly, you are such a nerd!"

6 comments:

Motorcycle Grandma said...

I'll never look at that sign the same. It was hilarious listening to you question the wording on "Young Living Family Farm" as we sped past last weekend.

Wendy said...

Damien and I were talking about that sign when we drove back from Vegas last month! Same stuff: Is it for the living members of the Young family? So if you're descended from a dead Young and not named Young is it or is it not yours? Is it a working farm? Is taht what they mean by living? YAY, we're not alone! Kelly, I'm beginning to realize that you are as much of a nerd as I am.(Maybe more? Gasp!)

Sue said...

Oh my gosh, I love you, because I have always been totally perplexed by the exact same issue. Wendy, Kelly, we need to form some type of - grammar nerd club. Or overthinking trivial issues club. Or something.

Motorcycle Grandma said...

OK since there's more that one person who's bothered by this sign, someone needs to bring this to the attention of the Utah State Government sign making people. Oh wait, they probably didn't graduate from high school, or even college. They most definitely don't have a background in "misplaced modifiers". They would probably scratch their head and say "What do they mean? I understand it perfectly!" It would be hopeless.

Kelly said...

We could call it Grammar Gurus or something like that...OH! how about Grammar Goddesses? Get all that nice alliteration in there.

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