Up With Which

Best. Grammar lesson. Ever. : “I vividly remember learning in grade school that prepositions are words that describe where a chicken might go.”

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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