Of Modifying Phrases and Marauding Members of Parliament
In 2014, to promote a new exhibit on Vikings, the British Museum set sail with a clever public relations spectacle: an authentic-looking vessel manned by a motley crew that sailed down the Thames and past government buildings where members of Parliament had a front-row seat for the show.
As one insightful observer reported: "A longboat full of Vikings, promoting the new British Museum exhibition, was seen sailing past the Palace of Westminster yesterday. Famously uncivilized, destructive and rapacious, with an almost insatiable appetite for rough sex and heavy drinking, the MPs nonetheless looked up for a bit to admire the vessel."
And to really understand how the writer pulled off that joke, you need to know a thing or two about modifying phrases. Here’s a recent column of mine that lays it out for you.