Re: Ending a sentence with a prep

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

Mike --

>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
deep trouble.

>>"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



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