1. In a discussion of "that" and "which," the book throws out a term I don't believe we've learned; if we have, I apologize, but what is an elliptical sentence?
2. The examples our book gives on misplaced modifers seem to me, also "missing subjects." For example, the book states: "1. Watching from the wings, the orchestra played the overture." The explaination the book gives is that "Someone or something other than the orchestra is watching; it could be a soprano or a murderer [aren't the writers bright and cheery?]. Query the author unless you are certain from context you can supply the correct noun or pronoun" (134). I guess my question is, can misplaced modifers be called missing subjects?
3. The book states, "Unless the sentence is extremely short, use a comma between two independent or main clauses...joined by and" (142). I'm wondering is this "extremely" short sentence a judgement call?
4. The book does this "extremely short" business again with introductory clauses and phrases. "Unlesss the introductory phrase is very short, a comma is necessary to indicate the pause in thought" (144). Again, is this a judgement call?
5. Colons! The book gives an example of a colon used to "add" or "supplement" to a sentence. I don't believe I've seen this often in writing. I think the em-dash is more often used. Am I wrong? The example the book gives is this: ""Only one course was open to the present: to fire the secretary" (147). This seems odd to me; I'm sure it's correct, but I was wondering if this is common for a colon. Ha..ahhh..okay.