The Naked Writer

Up With Which I Will Not Put

Winston Churchill, famous for the above phrase, probably didn’t write it to an editor correcting a sentence of Churchill’s ending with a preposition. After all, we would actually say, “I won’t put up with that”—ha ha—and wouldn’t have to twist the phrase around.

The point, though, is that many of us were brought up to avoid ending sentences with a preposition—and no one knew why. Just one of those rules. However, some say the rule came from Latin, not a language that we ourselves use. Or perhaps John Dryden invented the rule in 1672. (Why?)

Regardless, we’re wise to that, as we are these days to many misuses of both language and other human beings—and not to worry, currently we can end a sentence with a preposition. See my prior piece (scroll down) about relaxing the language. Probably we can even split infinitives—such as in “to boldly go.”

Something else I want to say about prepositions is that the word “like” is a preposition. I finally learned this a few years back, and discovered that ‘like’ doesn’t go in front of a clause.

“I felt like I’d run a million miles” would be “I felt as though I’d run a million miles.”

And even more tellingly: “I felt like I was on another planet” would be “I felt as if I were on another planet.” Using the “like” can hide the fact that we aren’t employing a subjunctive when we should. Oh, oh, I’ve opened a subjunctive can of worms.

But you’ll learn lots of other arcane and practical language things from my book The Naked Writer, just re-released by Curiosity Quills. Though if you’d rather learn about Navajo spirituality and the future downfall of the planet due to ecological disasters, read Question Woman & Howling Sky from Portals Publishing.

Oh, heck, just buy both.

Advertisements
The Naked Writer

2 thoughts on “The Naked Writer

    1. Well, thanks, Joy. Just to be clear, though–all the material in the blog is new. The book itself does cover prepositions, however. I’m simply raising some additional questions with this blog. The book itself is very comprehensive in regard to writing composition and style.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s