WTT: Zombie Rule #2

In the 17th century, a man named John Dryden made the executive decision that because it could not be done in Latin, that ending a sentence with a preposition was “not elegant.” And so, centuries later, the world’s best prose, descriptions, and arguments went from being something which we all strived for to something for which we all strived.

Prepositions show the relationship of words, usually the relationship of time and place. They are important and our language would sound awkward without them.

Just like the rule about splitting the infinitive, this one can also be ignored.

I believe it was Henry Fowler who said “The power of saying ‘people worth talking to‘ instead of ‘people with whom it is worth while to talk‘ is not one to be surrendered lightly.”

You’ll notice with all of these zombie rules, that they are all situational. Depending on what you are writing and who you are writing for, your grammar will, and should, change. Ultimately, the choice is up to you as to whether or not to break or obey the rules you learned as a child.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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