dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

8.28.2007

Prepositions: Something to Fuss Over?

The following are a few questions and thoughts I figured I'd toss out:

  • Why is it that prepositions are not proper words to end sentences with?
  • Is this really something to watch out for?
  • Is it truly necessary to avoid this by moving the words around?
  • The rules of grammar are something I strive to adhere to.
  • Nonetheless, this rule doesn't seem to be one to get legalistic about.
  • Must all grammar laws be strictly followed after?
  • Isn't this a rule we could do without?
  • Is this law something archaic that we have passed on from?
  • Must all writers observe it throughout?
  • Literary quality is something I aim toward.
  • But is this law one that even bloggers are under?

If I seem perturbed, it may be a result of the questions you find above. Please offer consolation or add personal insights below.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anna said...

I wonder what I'm taking Advanced Grammar for.

8/31/2007 12:04 AM

 
Blogger Towropes said...

C.S. Lewis ended sentences with prepositions. He fronted a rather casual style, actually.

This isn't to justify ending sentences with prepositions because Lewis did it, but to say that the whole point of excellent language is communication with integrity.

The mass of English speakers have eroded more sensible fixtures of the language through popular practice; why not this one?

What does your mom think? She was an English major, wasn't she? ^_^

9/04/2007 7:22 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

My mom recommends avoiding it when possible -- unless rearranging the sentence causes it to be too awkward.

And rest assured, I don't intend to throw out the grammar book. I realized, as I was writing something else, that I naturally end sentences with words such as to, for, or with. I usually try to ensure that my writing is grammatically sound, but I thought I'd have a little fun with the topic.

Finally, there is that quote sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, regarding this particular grammar rule:
"This is the sort of English up with which I will not put."

9/05/2007 11:28 PM

 
Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

I got the heebie-jeebies when I read this :-P I will go slightly out of my way to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition, but not as far as Churchill, apparently!

9/08/2007 12:08 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

For clarity on the Churchill quote (inlcuding the debate over whether it did indeed orignate with him), you might be interested in reading here. What he wouldn't put up with wasn't prepositions ending sentences, but rather people being so much of a stickler for this rule that their sentences became awkward (hence the humor of his response).

9/08/2007 11:29 AM

 
Blogger Clear Ambassador said...

For blogging, I look at the keyboard under my fingers as my instrument, to use in whatever way conceivable and interpretable to communicate to my readers. Speech is rich with inflection, and I like the challenge of trying to capture that in text.

Hence two-dot ellipseses, extra spaces if I want to separate words, semi-colons to bridge the gap from comma to period, dashes wherever I want, fragments, makeupping of words... all to make the reader's mind say back to them what my mind says to me when I write.

Outside of blogging, I think it depends on your audience. Like music. A classical recital doesn't equal a Switchfoot concert which doesn't equal jamming with friends.

Dose are my tots.

10/24/2007 10:43 PM

 

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