Today's pet peeve (Tboy is fairly certain there will be more in the coming weeks) is the dangling modifier, which isn't nearly as lubricious as you might hope from the sound of it. The dangling modifier is the favorite grammatical error of publicists and other writers striving to give their prose a high-falutin' rhythm. It's almost always a sure sign that someone's waxing overly lyrical, straining to make a connection that may or may not be justified.
To wit, from the first Helen Hayes brag to land in Tboy's inbox:
A dominant force in musical theater, “Signature Theatre’s acidic musical Urinetown received a leading dozen nominations," stated today’s Washington Post.
See what's happening there? The publicist, following the impulse of publicists since time immemorial, wants to puff up an already complimentary quote by stressing that Signature is "a dominant force in musical theater."
Trouble is, that modifying phrase (everything before the first comma), actually modifies the subject of the following clause. So what we've got here is the remarkable claim that Urinetown, not satisfied with being merely an acidic musical, is also a dominant force in musical theater.
It makes Tboy lachrymose to report that this shit happens all the time. When he's working as an editor, he does not hesitate to express his impatience with writers who do it. And by "impatience" he means: Fer Chrissake, fucker, could you possibly learn to string a coherent English sentence together?
Bonus bitch: We learn in the same press release, indeed in the following sentence, that "Signature’s signature – the annual presentation of a Stephen Sondheim musical – received the remaining balance [of Signature's 18 nominations]..."
And here Tboy had thought that the notion of "remaining" was inherent in that nicely efficient word "balance." Sigh...