From the Comments

From the comments to my iPod post:

Apple Computer announced today that it has developed a computer chip
that can store and play music in women's breasts as implants.

The IBoob will cost $499 or $599 depending on size.

This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women are
always complaining about men staring at their breasts and not listening
to them.

And who doesn't enjoy unclear pronoun reference humor?  Of course the greatest grammar joke of all time has to be this classic:

New Harvard Student:  Can you tell me where the library is at?

Other Harvard Student, with snobby accent:  At Haaahvaaard, we do not end our sentences in prepositions.

New Harvard Student:  OK.  Can you tell me where the library is at, Asshole?

Update:  Yes, I know, before the commenters come after me, I am not one to throw stones about grammatical mistakes.  But I can get it right when I try, I just make mistakes in the heat of battle.


  1. Dale:

    I always notice that I'm ending a sentence in a preposition as I'm doing it and know that I shouldn't. But I keep banging away at the keys without bothering to go back and restructure the sentence. It gives me a little visceral thrill to know that I'm breaking rules the bad boy that I am. Such is my life...

  2. Bob Smith:

    Why shouldn't you end a sentence in a preposition? That rule was an attempt by educators to import rules from "superior" languages, in this case Latin. English is not Latin, the dreams of ivory-tower academics notwithstanding. It makes no sense in English, as the mental contortions necessary to follow it show.

  3. Mark:

    Because Bob, ending sentences with a preposition is redundant, repetitive, superflous, non essential, and bordering on illiterate.

    "Where is it?" inquired Bob.
    "Where is it at?" drooled Bob.

    Adding "at" at the end of the sentence adds nothing whatsoever to the question being asked. Those "Ivory Tower Academics" you sneer at were trying to simplify things and reduce unneeded verbiage from an already simple, direct sentence. Thanks for weilding your class warfare club at something so truly insignificant as this.

    (FWIW, the Harvard joke made me laugh...)

  4. markm:

    Even if if was a rule that fit English, "Don't end a sentence with a preposition" doesn't state it correctly - as the ...(preposition), (expletive) examples show. That rule ignores one of the best ways in which English can form questions. It also occasionally identifies a badly formed question, but it usually misidentifies both the problem and how it should be corrected.

    What the ivory-tower grammarians meant was, a preposition must be followed by a noun, pronoun, or a phrase equivalent to a noun - but that's still Latin, not English. The rule for English is that a prepostion must clearly refer to a noun, pronoun, or a phrase equivalent to a noun. For direct sentences the noun goes after the preposition, but questions may be formulated by replacing the unknown noun with an interrogative pronoun (who, what, where, when, or how) and moving the preposition to the end.

    That's absolutely normal English usage, and in many cases attempts to avoid it are contorted and weird. In other cases (, the preposition sounds wrong because it did not belong in the first place. That is, you would answer, "The library is two blocks north", not "The library is at..."