Preposition at end(Usage Disputes)
Yes, yes, we've all heard the following anecdotes: (1) Winston Churchill was editing a proof of one of his books, when he noticed that an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill's sentences so that it wouldn't end with a preposition. Churchill scribbled in the margin, "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." (This is often quoted with "arrant nonsense" substituted for "English", or with other variations. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations cites Sir Ernest Gowers' _Plain Words_ (1948), where the anecdote begins, "It is said that Churchill..."; so we don't know exactly what Churchill wrote. According to the Oxford Companion to the English Language, Churchill's words were "bloody nonsense" and the variants are euphemisms.) (2) The Guinness Book of (World) Records used to have a category for "most prepositions at end". The incumbent record was a sentence put into the mouth of a boy who didn't want to be read excerpts from a book about Australia as a bedtime story: "What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about 'Down Under' up for?" Mark Brader (firstname.lastname@example.org -- all this is to the best of his recollection; he didn't save the letter, and doesn't have access to the British editions) wrote to Guinness, asking: "What did you say that the sentence with the most prepositions at the end was 'What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about "Down Under" up for?' for? The preceding sentence has one more." Norris McWhirter replied, promising to include this improvement in the next British edition; but actually it seems that Guinness, no doubt eventually realising that this could be done recursively, dropped the category. (3) "Excuse me, where is the library at?" "Here at Hahvahd, we never end a sentence with a preposition." "O.K. Excuse me, where is the library at, *asshole*?" Fowler and nearly every other respected prescriptivist see NOTHING wrong with ending a clause with a preposition; Fowler calls it a "superstition". ("Never end a sentence with a preposition" is how the superstition is usually stated, although it would "naturally" extend to any placement of a preposition later than the noun or pronoun it governs.) Indeed, Fowler considers "a good land to live in" grammatically superior to "a good land in which to live", since one cannot say *"a good land which to inhabit".
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