If you’ve ever wondered why you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition — which, admit it, you do all the time — well… this infographic from the good folks at The Expert Editor may not explain why you shouldn’t do it so much as give you a good excuse to throw caution to the wind and be a grammar rebel.
Seriously, some of these you’ll nod in agreement with and others may be on your “never break this rule!” list. As an editor, I, for one, get all itchy when someone uses “less” and not “fewer” in the proper context. I also get agitated when a writer uses an impersonal pronoun to describe a person (“it was Jimmy that was late”) or anthropomorphizes a company (“Verizon charged me extra just because they could”). But I digress, and these transgressions don’t even get covered in the infographic.
Still, I enjoyed looking this over and agreeing or disagreeing with the rationale behind the green light to break these grammar rules. And ultimately, isn’t language there to be twisted and abused? How many groundbreaking novels mangle the norms of the English language? I remember reading Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs so many years ago and marveling at how he basically retooled the way language works and was applauded for doing it. And is anyone going to tell George R.R. Martin or J.K. Rowling they shouldn’t make up their own words? Didn’t think so.
As they say, “you gotta know the rules before you break ’em.” I’m not even sure that’s true, but as writers, we’re better off making it a choice.
So which rules are you going to break today?
I can never pass up an opportunity like this to include this video of my favorite “Weird Al” Yankovic track, his send-up of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” called “Word Crimes.”
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