A squinting modifier is a modifier (usually an adverb) which could feasibly modify the words before it or the words after it. A squinting modifier is a type of misplaced modifier.
Examples of Squinting ModifiersHere are some examples of squinting modifiers (shaded):
Fixing a Squinting ModifierLike most misplaced modifiers, a squinting modifier can be fixed by changing its position in the sentence or by rewording. For example:
A Squinting Modifier is a Type of Misplaced ModifierA squinting modifier can feasibly "look" left or right. A normal misplaced modifier (i.e., one that isn't squinting) might also feasibly modify one of two things in a sentence, but it does this by being ambiguous. For example:
(In this example, the adverbial phrase with a Kalashnikov (a type of assault rifle) is a misplaced modifier. It cannot be squinting because there is nothing to its right. However, it is unclear whether it pertains to shot or a robber.)
What is a misplaced modifier?
What is a dangling modifier?
What is a limiting modifier?
Glossary of grammatical terms
Click on the one with a squinting modifier: