Even the most polished publications are not immune to that dreaded mistake committed frequently in English — the “misplaced modifier.”
Here is a current example from the august Wall Street Journal, an excellent publication to which I’m a subscriber:
“Mr. Zagorsky studied data from 7,403 Americans who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a representative sample of Americans funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” (May 5-6, 2007, p. B4)
Here it reads as though the Bureau of Labor Statistics has funded the “Americans” who were in the “representative sample”!
But of course that’s not true. We know that the study itself was the entity that was funded by the BLS.
That’s why the correct sentence should read:
“Mr. Zagorsky studied data from a representative sample of 7,403 Americans who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”