Re: Dangling modifiers?

Subject: Re: Dangling modifiers?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 10:53:10 -0800

Ellen Kelly wrote:

So, I guess that raises the question of ending a sentence with a
preposition. You can see my specific examples in my previous post . . .

The idea that a sentence shouldn't end in a preposition is one of the arbitrary rules inflicted on us by the first grammarians. One of the first proponents of the idea was the poet and playwright John Dryden, and, by 1800, popular grammars were starting to pick it up. The reasoning is that "preposition" means that the word should come before what the noun it refers to..

Against this prescription, you can cite dozens of examples by Shakespeare, Jonson, and virtually every other writer of note in which sentences do end in a preposition. So, of all the arbitrary grammatical rules, this one is probably the most ignored.

Practically, I think the issue comes down to clarity and tone. If the sentence is very long, readers may have trouble seeing which noun the preposition is linked to. Similarly, not ending with a preposition usually gives a more formal tone, which may or may not be appropriate for your purposes.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"You're about to be told one more time that you're America's most valuable natural resources. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources in this country?...Don't let anyone call you a valuable natural resource. They'll strip mind your soul and clearcut your mind."
- Utah Phillips

Now's a great time to buy RoboHelp! You'll get SnagIt screen capture
software and a $200 onsite training voucher FREE when you buy RoboHelp
Office or RoboHelp Enterprise. Hurry, this offer expires February 28, 2002.

Have you looked at the new content on TECHWR-L lately?
See and check it out.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

RE: Dangling modifiers?: From: Ellen Kelly

Previous by Author: Re: Guidelines for using "e" in front of terms?
Next by Author: Re: Editing soft vs. hard copy (WAS: Guidelines for using "e" in fron t of terms?)
Previous by Thread: RE: Dangling modifiers?
Next by Thread: FW: Dangling modifiers?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads