Ms Mohs ties for first place as my all-time favorite teacher, of which I’ve had many, because she was unwavering in her resolve to maintain a standard of excellence. It was in her classroom where I was introduced to the “List of 50 Prepositions”, which, to this day, I can still recall from memory. Lord knows how I do appreciate skilled writing and Ms. Mohs was instrumental in my own personal development. It was not from her, however, that I adopted one of my life mottos which is: Learn the rules and then learn why, when, where, with whom, and how to break them.
In addition to memorizing the prepositions, there were so-called “rules” regarding them, one of which was that I ought never to end a sentence with one. Handily, there was a little tune that I learned them to. (See what I did there?) “About, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at…” and then those that began with “b” and so on. (Oops, I did it again!).
You, too, have undoubtedly heard the self-righteous grammarians who claim one must never end a sentence with a preposition. (They are often the same who claim that you may never begin a sentence with “and”.) And I am here to tell you, that is absolute hogwash. If you wonder at how it came to be that the English language developed with such a rigid criterion, it has to do with Latin not using a terminal preposition and the educated class trying to fit the language into the Latin-sized box. Oh phooey! It is nearly a dead language for a reason! (Just kidding, Omar!)
And if you are one of those who still insist that you are correct about this ill-thought-out mandate, well we will have to part ways on that. You be you in your tiny, little box, and I’ll be me, happily in very good company!
I say you shall yet find the friend you were looking for. (Walt Whitman)
Mrs. Bennet had many grievances to relate, and much to complain of. (Jane Austen)
The domestic man, who loves no music so well as his kitchen clock and the airs which the logs sing to him as they burn on the hearth, has solaces which others never dream of. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Then she remembered what she had been waiting for. (James Joyce)
Finn the Red-Handed had stolen a skillet and a quantity of half-cured leaf tobacco, and had also brought a few corn-cobs to make pipes with. (Mark Twain)
There was a little money left, but to Mrs. Bart it seemed worse than nothing””the mere mockery of what she was entitled to. (Edith Wharton)