Today at the beginning of a business writing class, I asked attendees to introduce themselves by telling us something they enjoy. One woman announced:
"I enjoy driving around topless in my Jeep."
Was she serious? I stopped and stared, looking for hints from her. She gave no clue. After my awkward pause, I asked, "Did I hear you correctly?" She responded "Yes" and then explained:
"I enjoy driving around with the top down in my Jeep."
Ah. Now I understood. It was a case of a misplaced modifier: The Jeep was topless–not the woman.
Here is a topless revision, in the interests of propriety:
"I enjoy driving around in my topless Jeep."
Lesson: If you want to stop a conversation (and traffic), drive around topless. But if you want to communicate (and drive) safely, drive around in a topless Jeep.