I was looking up the exact wording of a quatrain I recalled. I found, to my surprise, that it is the first stanza of a longer poem. Hope you enjoy!
The grammar has a rule absurd
Which I would call an outworn myth—
“A preposition is a word
You mustn’t end a sentence with!”
That rule I very often flout
Because it makes me far from calm.
It’s one I do not care about.
I wonder where they get it from!
I’ll make a preposition do
The thing I want to use it for.
Why should that be objected to?
There’s nothing in it to abhor.
For since my school-days first commenced
It is a practice which I’ve found
No reason to protest against
Amid the folks I’ve been around.
And though to purists it’s a sin
And one that’s largely frowned upon,
It’s one that I’ve persisted in
Whatever spot I’m dwelling on.
For if to any sentence pat
A preposition adds more pith,
And aids what I am driving at,
Why, that is what I’ll end it with!
— Berton Braley, “No Rule To Be Afraid Of”
As my colleagues here know, I have a very prescriptivist editor that I work with and every time she tells me about changing the whole sentence to avoid having a preposition at the end, I come to WC and find some of our evidence that it is a stupid rule that great writers have never used.
it is a stupid rule that great writers have never used.
It's also a zombie rule that has a definite and singular origin: Dryden made it up ex nihilo.
—Ceci n'est pas un seing.
When I try to change a sentence that I've written with a preposition at the end, it usually sounds incredibly awkward. Most of us don't talk like that.
Except for me at odd times, nobody here wears a Lynn Truss, a garment worn under the chin to hold one's nose up in a snooty position.
(Sattva, see the book, "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves")
Does the Lynn Truss also get rid of a saggy chin/neck region? If so, sign me up! I just read where Lynne Truss wrote the book you mentioned. I like the idea though of it being something to firm up the chin.
I knew we had discussed this here before, but I couldn't find it. Now that you mentioned Dryden, I found that discussion here.