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Subject:Re: Ending a sentence with a prep From:Joanna Sheldon <cjs10 -at- CORNELL -dot- EDU> Date:Fri, 20 Sep 1996 07:28:58 -0400
>Suspicious? -- Suspicious??!! Do you find that sentence hard to understand?
>>If a sentence works, if it reads well, if it is as elegant and well-balanced
>>as the sentence quoted, let it be as long as it bloody well wants to be! We
>>Americans have had it pounded into us since we were knee high to a
>>grasshopper that the ideal sentence contains no more than a subject, an
>>object and a verb. Does this hold true in England, as well, now? -- For
>Perhaps your lungs are much bigger than mine. Although the sentence itself
is easy enough to understand, it would take a mammal much larger than myself
to be able to read it all without suffocating!
>I dunno - maybe I should give up smoking while I still have some breath
left inside me.
Okay, okay, sorry I blasted off.
Now, this IS writing we're talking about and not public speaking -- but say
we were going to SPEAK the Fowler sentence. Who says you can only drag a
breath at a period, sorry, full stop? This sort of paragraph-sentence needs
to be spoken unhurriedly, with pauses as though for deliberation, which
allow the thoughts to sink into the listeners. Besides, the man lived in a
time when there WAS time simply to enjoy words, and the feeling of them
rolling off your tongue.
I've got the monster marked (below) with  to indicate gasps for breath.
If you choke on the last phrase, you are allowed to throw in a pause
between "correctness" and "derived" -- but if you need to, son, you're in
>>"Those who lay
>>down the universal principle that final prepositions are 'inelegant' 
>>are unconsciously trying to deprive the English language of a
>>valuable idiomatic resource,  which has been used freely by all our
>>greatest writers  except those whose instinct for English idiom has
>>been overpowered by notions of correctness derived from Latin