From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.
I was always one of those annoying kids who went around correcting other people's grammar. When I read Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves I thought I had met my other half. She just seemed to get me and my compulsion to fix (or at least point out) signs with the dreaded apostrophe in place of a plural.
|I love that someone actually DID fix this!|
But when I started writing seriously, I discovered that all those rules I absorbed about grammar don't matter half as much as I thought they did. I've since read dozens of published books filled with what child-me would point out as grammatical errors.
The thing is, though, that they aren't errors at all. These authors broke the rules on purpose to avoid sentences like Winston Churchill's up there.
When you write fiction, and especially when you write for young people, it seems a whole new list of rules takes the place of the old list. Some of these rules are easy to identify after reading half a dozen books in your chosen genre. Others are more abstract and require additional reading to absorb. But the one that reigns supreme is this:
- Keep it conversational - If you wouldn't say it in real life, don't make your character say it. That means letting him end sentences in prepositions when it feels natural. And while this is obvious in dialogue, it holds true for narration, too.
I'll pick the best sentence and whoever posted it gets this: