Saturday, June 16, 2012

Preposition woes

Before I get into my subject today, I ended up hearing another word that bugs me that relates to my post on in-law plural words.  That was the word "passerbys" as opposed to "passersby".  At least with the in-laws, it doesn't sound so bad, even if it's incorrect, because we do have the word "in-laws", but with "passerbys", that just sounds terrible.  We don't have any word "bys", so that one just sounds terrible to my ears! ;o)

Continuing with my mini-series on redundancies, today's topic has to do with duplicating prepositions.  Although it's much more acceptable these days to end sentences with prepositions (phrasal verbs notwithstanding), many people stick to what they were taught growing up, and that has just become habit.  What's funny to me, though, is that because we often learn language by mimicking phrases and words we heard adults say growing up, some people don't realise what it is they're actually saying.  Normally, you might hear someone say

This is not a person with whom I'd like to contend

As you can see, the with is properly placed in this sentence if trying to avoid ending the sentence with that preposition.  However, sometimes I'll hear people say something like

This is not a person with whom I'd like to contend with

I think we become used to saying particular phrases that we stop remember what part of speech they are and then end up with sentences like these.  These kinds of redundancies entertain me more than anything, but just in case this is something you do and want to fix, I thought I would point it out!

No comments:

Post a Comment