Quick Thought: The Role of the Preposition

By December 3, 2018Communication
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“Not ending a sentence with a preposition is a bit of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.”

Winston Churchill

I love that one… I guess it floated back into my mind because I just finished up editing another Intentionally Vicarious episode with several lines that just plain sounded better with a preposition at the end. Sorry, Mrs. Thornton… (See was my 9th grade English teacher.) I just had to do it.

I also like the idea of pushing the envelope a bit now and again. There are all sorts of rules and regulations that have been relegated to the dustbin of history. Why not throw this one in there too?

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And finally, I’ve got a joke that fits this no-prepositions-at-the-end-of-a-sentence theme. It’s a little crude, so I won’t include it in the podcast. But only a little. I’ll tack it on as a postscript to the show notes. Check it out if you need a chuckle.

Think about it…

 


 

And the postscript I mentioned in the podcast version of this episode…

A country hayseed gets accepted into Harvard as part of a special outreach program. The rube arrives on campus and is so amazed at what he sees that loses track of everything else. He realizes suddenly, that he needs to find a restroom ASAP. He asks the next person he sees, a blue-blood, prep school type, “Excuse me, can you tell me where the men’s room is at?”

The snooty sophisticate looks down his nose at this goober and says, “At Harvard, we don’t end our sentences with prepositions.” “Oh my gosh, I’m so embarrassed and sorry,”says the rube. “Can you tell me where the men’s room is at, @$$-hole?”

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mary Margaret Just says:

    Germanic language, prepositions migrate to the end of the sentence. Romance language, they don’t. Also, investigate the blazing stupidity of not splitting infinitives. “To boldly go.”

  • Mary Margaret Just says:

    I know I didn’t say this before, ever: Germanic language, prepositions migrate to the end of the sentence. Romance language, they don’t. Also, investigate the blazing stupidity of not splitting infinitives. “To boldly go.”

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