Too good of grammar a bad thing?

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Kulax22
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Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Kulax22 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:08 pm

I am writing some things to send in (addendum) and I wrote something like:

which I first heard about through..........

That to me sounds much better than

About which I first heard through........

Yet obviously the second one is correct - and snooty sounding. Which to choose? Does it really matter?

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calicocat
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby calicocat » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:11 pm

Kulax22 wrote:I am writing some things to send in (addendum) and I wrote something like:

which I first heard about through..........

That to me sounds much better than

About which I first heard through........

Yet obviously the second one is correct - and snooty sounding. Which to choose? Does it really matter?


Choose correct?....

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:13 pm

Kulax22 wrote:I am writing some things to send in (addendum) and I wrote something like:

which I first heard about through..........

That to me sounds much better than

About which I first heard through........

Yet obviously the second one is correct - and snooty sounding. Which to choose? Does it really matter?


Technically, either one is ok since the rule is only against ending a sentence with a preposition--depending on the context, you're not even ending an independent clause with a preposition--let alone a sentence.

Kulax22
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Kulax22 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:15 pm

I guess what I'm really asking is whether adcomms want the highest grammar possible. We live in an age of admissions blogs and general informality. It's tough for me to decide what "level" they expect you to meet them on. One day emoticons may even be welcome :twisted:

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Dingo McPhee
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Dingo McPhee » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:17 pm

Irony: this thread title.

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holydonkey
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby holydonkey » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:18 pm

I'd cut the sentence in half. How you learned about 'it' as one sentence. Whatever the rest of it is as its own sentence. Clears up the awkwardness.

Clarity trumps style every time.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:21 pm

Kulax22 wrote:I guess what I'm really asking is whether adcomms want the highest grammar possible. We live in an age of admissions blogs and general informality. It's tough for me to decide what "level" they expect you to meet them on. One day emoticons may even be welcome :twisted:


I don't think that taking a rule to the endpoint at which it would arrive were it extended as far as possible represents the highest grammar possible...

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vamedic03
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby vamedic03 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:22 pm

...
Last edited by vamedic03 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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calicocat
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby calicocat » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:31 pm

Dingo McPhee wrote:Irony: this thread title.

lol this

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MeTalkPrettyOneDay
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby MeTalkPrettyOneDay » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:33 pm

Dingo McPhee wrote:Irony: this thread title.
I assume he/she was going for irony.

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Zapatero
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Zapatero » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:37 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
Kulax22 wrote:I am writing some things to send in (addendum) and I wrote something like:

which I first heard about through..........

That to me sounds much better than

About which I first heard through........

Yet obviously the second one is correct - and snooty sounding. Which to choose? Does it really matter?


Technically, either one is ok since the rule is only against ending a sentence with a preposition--depending on the context, you're not even ending an independent clause with a preposition--let alone a sentence.


This is wrong. You should not end any verbal phrase with a preposition.

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wakefield
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby wakefield » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:46 pm

Dingo McPhee wrote:Irony: this thread title.



YES.

ConsideringLawSchool
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby ConsideringLawSchool » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:04 pm

ccs1702 wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
Kulax22 wrote:I am writing some things to send in (addendum) and I wrote something like:

which I first heard about through..........

That to me sounds much better than

About which I first heard through........

Yet obviously the second one is correct - and snooty sounding. Which to choose? Does it really matter?


Technically, either one is ok since the rule is only against ending a sentence with a preposition--depending on the context, you're not even ending an independent clause with a preposition--let alone a sentence.


This is wrong. You should not end any verbal phrase with a preposition.


According to...?

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Zapatero
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Zapatero » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:19 pm

ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
ccs1702 wrote:
ConsideringLawSchool wrote:
Kulax22 wrote:I am writing some things to send in (addendum) and I wrote something like:

which I first heard about through..........

That to me sounds much better than

About which I first heard through........

Yet obviously the second one is correct - and snooty sounding. Which to choose? Does it really matter?


Technically, either one is ok since the rule is only against ending a sentence with a preposition--depending on the context, you're not even ending an independent clause with a preposition--let alone a sentence.


This is wrong. You should not end any verbal phrase with a preposition.


According to...?


The English language.

Edit: Let's go with an example:

I just saw a guy I graduated with. Obviously, this should read, "I just saw a guy with whom I graduated." Both of us agree on this.

However, are you going to tell me that the following sentence is correct?

I just saw a guy I graduated with from high school. Just because I add "from high school" does not mean the sentence is grammatically sound on the basis that it does not end with a preposition. The sentence should read, "I just saw a guy with whom I graduated from high school."

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tristanlxboyd
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby tristanlxboyd » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:34 pm

This is the style of arrant pedantry up with which we shall not put. [Churchill]

Re: the original question, you could do "[Sakuteiki is a beautiful art], of which I first learned [from my childhood friend Mr. Miyagi." That is grammatically correct [afaik] and is a bit easier on the ear. "heard" could still be used as well.

My .02

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Zapatero
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Zapatero » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:07 pm

predetermined wrote:No. Rules like these have only formal and not practical value. Language is ultimately about communication, not slavish adherence to formal rules. That's why you can respond to ConsideringLawSchool with a fragment rather than a complete sentence and make complete sense.

The rule against dangling prepositions is best followed as a stylistic choice, not as a matter of grammatical correctness, because dangling prepositions at the end of a sentence just look odd. But ending a verbal phrase with a preposition as the OP does in his first example is perfectly fine, and preferred.


Agreed on all counts. My comment was in response to the "rule" that CLS mentioned. My point was that any verbal phrase--not just at the end of a sentence--cannot end in a dangling preposition and still be 100% grammatically correct. Of course you can violate these rules and still make total sense, but I would opt for correctness over style whenever possible.

shock259
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby shock259 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:19 pm

Clarity and brevity are the most important aspects of communication.

scionb4
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby scionb4 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:51 pm

Hook'd on fonicks dunn gude fer mee,

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MF248
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby MF248 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:52 pm

I'm from Chicago. We put prepositions wherever we want to.

gmichaelbluth
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby gmichaelbluth » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Ending a sentence (or fragment) with a preposition is no longer considered incorrect in many cases. If it clarifies the sentence's meaning, it's preferable to convoluting your message, but you should avoid it if the preposition is unnecessary.

That said, a whole lot of people think it's always incorrect. You might want to reword and avoid it if you are afraid an old school adcomm might cringe over it.

Some good takes on the topic:
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/en ... tions.aspx
http://grammar.about.com/b/2008/03/26/p ... s-with.htm

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Zapatero
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby Zapatero » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:13 pm

predetermined wrote:
ccs1702 wrote:
predetermined wrote:No. Rules like these have only formal and not practical value. Language is ultimately about communication, not slavish adherence to formal rules. That's why you can respond to ConsideringLawSchool with a fragment rather than a complete sentence and make complete sense.

The rule against dangling prepositions is best followed as a stylistic choice, not as a matter of grammatical correctness, because dangling prepositions at the end of a sentence just look odd. But ending a verbal phrase with a preposition as the OP does in his first example is perfectly fine, and preferred.


Agreed on all counts. My comment was in response to the "rule" that CLS mentioned. My point was that any verbal phrase--not just at the end of a sentence--cannot end in a dangling preposition and still be 100% grammatically correct. Of course you can violate these rules and still make total sense, but I would opt for correctness over style whenever possible.

I guess you're right that CLS is wrong about it being "technically ok," if we're taking that to mean "grammatically correct with respect to the rule against all dangling prepositions." The thing is, most grammatical rules are matters of convention, and there's no single, universally agreed upon set of rules for all English speakers. If we agree that this particular rule should be followed, then we can say a given sentence is "correct" or not according to that rule. But I don't agree that the rule against all dangling propositions should be followed as it has little practical value. So to me, the decision to follow that rule is entirely a matter of style and/or tradition.

This is pure conjecture, but I figure the reason why that rule exists in the first place is because at some point in history, people who were good at describing grammatical patterns were also sticklers for things like correctness and consistency, and self-selected into positions where they taught/preached rules of grammar that only allowed for one pattern in any given situation, even if adhering to those rules sounded more awkward than doing otherwise. But since language is ultimately about "getting across what I mean," any construction that succeeds in doing that is communicatively acceptable. Following any given grammatical convention is probably more about class membership and status than anything else. (Not that I'm accusing you of being an elitist--it's just what we were taught, after all. :P)


I think it has more to do with the influence of Romantic languages in English. Ending a verbal phrase with a preposition in Spanish, for example, is simply just impossible to do. It would make absolutely no sense. As for "class status/membership," we are, after all, aspiring attorneys; precise, correct usage is paramount.

GrcP8nter
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby GrcP8nter » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:09 pm

Since I am taking a graduate level class in grammar at the moment I can quote you the following from, "Grammar for Grammarians" by Frank Parker and Kathryn Riley:

"This rule apparently is based on the fact that in Latin (as in all Romance languages), prepositions always precede a noun phrase and thus never appear in sentance-final position. In fact, the word preposition itself can be divided into "position" (meaning put) and pre- (meaning before). That is, the term preposition gets its name from the fact that it is always "put before" a noun phrase. Thus, the prescriptivists apparently reasoned that if, by definition, a preposition always precedes a noun phrase, then it necessarily cannot end a sentence."

There is more about the original creators of the rule, Lowth and Murray, but I'll save you all from information overload.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:14 pm

GrcP8nter wrote:Since I am taking a graduate level class in grammar at the moment I can quote you the following from, "Grammar for Grammarians" by Frank Parker and Kathryn Riley:

"This rule apparently is based on the fact that in Latin (as in all Romance languages), prepositions always precede a noun phrase and thus never appear in sentance-final position. In fact, the word preposition itself can be divided into "position" (meaning put) and pre- (meaning before). That is, the term preposition gets its name from the fact that it is always "put before" a noun phrase. Thus, the prescriptivists apparently reasoned that if, by definition, a preposition always precedes a noun phrase, then it necessarily cannot end a sentence."

There is more about the original creators of the rule, Lowth and Murray, but I'll save you all from information overload.

This is also the reason we're not allowed to split infinitives. Thanks, dead guys who didn't know what they were talking about.

GrcP8nter
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby GrcP8nter » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:31 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:Thanks, dead guys who didn't know what they were talking about.


And Im just a state school criminal justice student, haha

"but seriously, I've got 'em"

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Too good of grammar a bad thing?

Postby SoxyPirate » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:35 pm

ITT: English majors try their best to make it look like their time and money was well spent.




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