We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Sir, you are completely correct. In my opinion, all legal and civil documents must include a Linsear Write Score. It was originally created by John O'Hayre, an employee of the Bureau of Land Management in Denver, Colorado. All documents, regardless of origin, must be readable by anyone with a ninth grade education.
Dangling modifiers are much more an issue of style rather than grammar. At worst they represent awkward and inelegant writing.
An example that comes to mind:
Driving into the city from the airport, the flags flapped briskly in the wind.
Pedants always argue that this means the flags are driving the car. But this is an absurdity: no one reading this would assume that is what was meant, even if they considered the sentence clumsily expressed.
When sentences with dangling modifiers stand alone, it is sometimes unclear who is doing what. However, in most discourse it is entirely clear who needed a written excuse or who read the original study. The context provides this.
There are people who routinely do not make such things clear, and training that out of them by getting them in the habit of letting no modifier dangle is fine. But that is a medicine, not a food. It is not necessary 100% of the time for clarity.
The rules for formal speech and writing are different, and each sentence should be correct as a stand-alone. But that is an artificial situation.
Assistant Village Idiot