Friday, March 7, 2008

You go, Grammar Girl

Earlier this week, Grammar Girl did her part to demystify writing with a list of the Top Ten Grammar Myths. A sample:

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.
This particular myth goes back a long way, and Grammar Girl has good company in trying to debunk it. Legend has it that an editor once "corrected" a sentence of Winston Churchill’s that ended with a preposition. Churchill's response? “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.”

I'm not as quick-witted as Churchill, so I have another strategy for dealing with grammar myth-makers. I just throw them out the window.

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