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#208510 - 12/27/12 12:58 PM Prepositions
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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If it's a sin to end a sentence with one preposition, then presumably it's even worse to end it with two. How far can we take this? For the August 1968 issue of Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics, Darryl Francis devised one sentence that ends with nine prepositions. If the Yardbirds' 1966 single "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" were exported to Australia and then retrieved by a traveler, the question might be asked:

"What did he bring 'Over, Under, Sideways, Down' up from Down Under for?"

Inspired, Ralph Beaman pointed out that if this issue of the journal were now brought to a boy who slept on the upper floor of a lighthouse, he might ask:

"What did you bring me the magazine I didn't want to be read to out of about '"Over Under, Sideways, Down" up from Down Under' up around for?"

"This has a total of fifteen terminal prepositions," writes Ross Eckler, "but the end is not in sight; for now the little boy can complain in similar vein about the reading material provided in this issue of Word Ways, adding a second 'to out of about' at the beginning and 'up around for' at the end of the preposition string. The mind boggles at the infinite regress which has now been established."

-Greg Ross, Language 26 December 2012
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#208514 - 12/27/12 04:25 PM Re: Prepositions [Re: LukeJavan8]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
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Loc: R'lyeh
If it's a sin to end a sentence with one preposition

No, it's not. This "rule" was made up out of whole cloth by one fellow: John Dryden. Even Bishop Lowth made fun of it in his mostly prescriptive grammar. It is just plain wrong, and the folks who propagate it ought to have their necks wringed.
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#208515 - 12/27/12 07:20 PM Re: Prepositions [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Originally Posted By: LukeJavan8


"What did he bring 'Over, Under, Sideways, Down' up from Down Under for?"



Five yard penalty. "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" is a title so the status of the constituent members of the title as prepositions is deemed inadmissible. The same goes for the phrase "Down Under", which is acting as a noun phrase. Any examples involving these are ruled out of bounds for the desired effect.

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#208516 - 12/27/12 11:11 PM Re: Prepositions [Re: Faldage]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
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Loc: this too shall pass
just so.
-The Commissioner

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#208520 - 12/28/12 03:07 AM Re: Prepositions [Re: tsuwm]
Tromboniator Offline
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Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 852
Loc: Alaska
The whole point of this exercise is to answer absurdity with absurdity. Why take all the fun out of it with rules and logic?

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#208523 - 12/28/12 08:59 AM Re: Prepositions [Re: Tromboniator]
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
The whole point of this exercise is to answer absurdity with absurdity. Why take all the fun out of it with rules and logic?

'Cause that's how I exist.
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#208639 - 01/01/13 08:40 PM Re: Prepositions [Re: Faldage]
A C Bowden Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 349
Loc: London, UK
Quote:
"Over, Under, Sideways, Down"

"Sideways" is an adverb, not a preposition.

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#208642 - 01/01/13 09:17 PM Re: Prepositions [Re: LukeJavan8]
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Good point.

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