An apostrophe tutorial

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
An apostrophe tutorial
25
Thu, 06-10-2010 - 9:02pm

Ashley, the Grammar Hag, would like to remind you of the rules for using an apostrophe properly. Failure to follow these rules will result in the removal of the apostrophe key

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Sat, 06-12-2010 - 12:38pm

The rule against ending a sentence with a preposition is non-sensical, IMHO. English is a Germanic language. In German (and the Scandinavian languages), prepositions are often combined with the verb. Depending on the tense and kind of sentence, the preposition may either form one word with the verb or it may be unhitched from the verb. In the latter case, it goes last in the sentence. This is why mid-westerners say, "I'll take you with."

Although these verbs do not survive in English, I think the reflex does. There is no graceful way that I can think of to rewrite "I dare not risk having my head bitten off." in such a way that you avoid the "off" at the end, and, IMO, there is no reason to try anyway.

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If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sat, 06-12-2010 - 4:29pm
A.A. .milne reported that he took a book up to his child's room to read him a bedtime story, and the child demanded, "why did you bring that book you know I don't like to be read to out of up for?"
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 4:01am
LOL, but seriously, it is a silly rule. You are the academic, but don't you think that the prepositions that so-called dangle could be considered to serve an adverbial function?

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If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 3:18pm
I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, this is the kind of nonsense up with which I will not put.;)
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 3:34pm
Yes, so legend says. I don't know if it is true, but it is a good quote, and I bear it in mind when editing people.

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If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 9:01pm
To answer your earlier question, I think the old prepositions rule must have been a silly rule made up by those with a working knowledge of renaisssance Latin and then pompously and erroneouly applied to English.
Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 2:26am
Yes, I suspect that is the origin of it.

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If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong

Avatar for mommy2amani
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 10:14am

I don't dare risk the biting off of my head!


But that would be awesome if someone of authority, perhaps Ashley the Grammar Queen, declared we need not worry about ending a sentence with a preposition.

Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 10:23am
Nope, because you added an 'of'. You did that to make 'my head' a genitive, since you made the verb into a gerund, thus necessitating putting the logical subject of the verb in the genitive. 'Off' does not form a prepositional phrase with 'my head' in your sentence either. In fact, you too make it an adverbial part of the verb phrase - 'the biting off'.

*^*^*^*^*


If you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong

Avatar for mommy2amani
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 11:42am

Well, that stinks.