Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition (#897726)

Subject: Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition (#897726)
From: Bill Burns <wburns -at- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 07:46:05 MDT

18-SEP-1996 01:29:05.19

>"this is the kind of arrant pedantry I'll never put up with").

I've heard this quote put somewhat differently:

*This is the kind of arrant pedantry [or something similar]
up with which I will not put.

The preposition rule is but one of many that were drawn from Latin
grammar (along with the rule about split infinitives). English grammar
does not share the same structure as Latin, so many of these rules
don't apply to the natural structure of English. In many instances,
the rule about prepositions at the ends of sentences is overgeneralized.
Consider the following sentence:

Turn the light on.

Many people mistakenly identify "on" as a preposition in this case.
It's not a preposition but a verbal particle (part of the inifinitive
phrase "to turn on"). Adherence to the preposition placement rule in
such cases often leads to unnatural structures (which some people, like
Churchill, flout to make a point). Perhaps the real problem is the term
"preposition," which suggests that the word in question precedes its object.
(If it follows its object, shouldn't it be called a *post*position?) In any
sense, the fault often lies with misapplication of the rule.

In cases that involve verbal particles, sometimes the sense of the verb phrase
is clearer when the particle is kept closer to the verb.

Bill Burns
Assembly Documentation Supervisor
wburns -at- micron -dot- com
This message brought to you by W.A.S.T.E.
and your local potsmaster.

Previous by Author: Re: Until It's Time for Me to Go (#842486)
Next by Author: Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition (#911875)
Previous by Thread: ADMIN: Archives and more
Next by Thread: Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition (#897726)

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

Sponsored Ads