Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition (and split infinitives)

Subject: Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition (and split infinitives)
From: Brad Connatser <cwrites -at- USIT -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 1996 11:38:32 GMT

In article <3242E0E3 -dot- 3D09 -at- ctes -dot- com>, jdickerson -at- ctes -dot- com wrote:

> As for ending a sentence with a preposition, I don't mind doing it or
> reading/hearing it.

> Also, there has been quite a bit of discussion concerning the way Latin
> deals with infinitives, and how that has been carried through in English
> grammar rules. I just had to bring up the point that English grammar is
> not derived from Latin in the way that French or Spanish is. English is
> a Germanic language. Of course, we have borrowed elements from many
> different languages, but English grammar has more to do with the
> Germanic roots than with the Latin influences.

English is a mongrel language: part Anglo-Saxon, part Latin, part French.
I think what Jessica is talking about is descriptive grammar (a
description of the way we actually perform language), not prescriptive
grammar (the rules that govern standard English in writing and formal
speech). And in that case, I think she points to a significant
incongruity: The formalized rules of English composition evolved from
Latin- and French-based prescriptive grammars (specifically, from the
Chancery in England from about 1300 to 1500), while the innate grammar
hardwired into our English brains evolved from Anglo-Saxon. However, these
two systems of rules have never been reconciled, which, I think, would
take a mariage between the fields of professional communication and
linguistics/cognitive psychology.


Brad Connatser
Concurrent Communications
cwrites -at- usit -dot- net

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