Sunday, March 16, 2008

Watching Our Language

Grammar Girl lists her "Top Ten Grammar Myths." For her number one myth, she provides the following:

1. You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. Wrong! You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition when the sentence would mean the same thing if you left off the preposition. That means "Where are you at?" is wrong because "Where are you?" means the same thing. But there are many sentences where the final preposition is part of a phrasal verb or is necessary to keep from making stuffy, stilted sentences: I'm going to throw up, let's kiss and make up, and what are you waiting for are just a few examples.

While it doesn't happen much on my blog, I find myself frequently at work correcting those who imagine that they are properly correcting me on this point. As Grammar Girl has illuminated the point quite nicely, The Oracle will refrain from making reference to the statement frequently attributed to Winston Churchill on this point.

However, I would add that I also appreciate Grammar Girl permitting me to begin a sentence with "however." The usage has always seemed perfectly natural to me, but memories of a high school English teacher from long ago always cause me to pause when starting a sentence thusly.

Hat Tip: Evangelical Outpost


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