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Ah, yes

The Daily Post

There are many variations on a quotation often attributed to Winston Churchill that I first read as follows:

This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.

The apocryphal quotation is said to have been Churchill’s response to an editor’s correction of one of his sentences to keep it from ending with a preposition.

The old rule dictating that you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition comes to us in English on the basis not of any inherent sense but rather on the basis of the Latin words that make up the word “preposition” — “pre” meaning “before” and “position” meaning, well, “position.” Very literal-minded grammarians a few hundred years ago decided that a part of speech whose name means that it must go before something surely can’t go at the end of a sentence, where there is no other word for it to…

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Writer, Walker, Entrepreneur, baby-boomer

One thought on “

  1. The written word and the spoken word are different. They sometimes influence each other (so Conan O’Brien can laugh like a loon finding “snuck” in the dictionary when guest Jennifer Garner says it’s not a word) but their usages still maintain some independence.

    I think the context for the quote was actually for a speech, and Churchhill, I think, slyly noted that written formality and proper grammar does not always apply to public speaking. You CAN break the rules and it IS acceptable.

    Yet I see a lot of people try to write the way they speak (less so than trying to speak the way they write). Best not to mix the two very much.

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