Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Even though I haven't posted in awhile, rest assured that in a few weeks I will start again. I have a couple of posts lined up.

In the meantime, note that the existence of this blog, and the fact that you are reading it, makes us all White People.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ending sentences in prepositions

Preface: Never promise something and then get sick. This post was supposed to happen last friday, but obviously that didn't happen. Enjoy.


What do those words have in common? If you're from the US, you may think that they are perfectly acceptable words to put at the end of a sentence--usually a question.

  • Where are you at?
  • What is this for?
  • What are you talking about?
  • What are you guys looking at?
Those all seem perfectly normal, right? I have news for you. Those words are called prepositions. The most common prepositions are "about," "above," "across," "after," "against," "along," "among," "around," "at," "before," "behind," "below," "beneath," "beside," "between," "beyond," "but," "by," "despite," "down," "during," "except," "for," "from," "in," "inside," "into," "like," "near," "of," "off," "on," "onto," "out," "outside," "over," "past," "since," "through," "throughout," "till," "to," "toward," "under," "underneath," "until," "up," "upon," "with," "within," and "without."

What are prepositions? They are "connecting" words. If the connecting word is at the end of a sentence, what is it connecting? It's connecting your sentence to air. This is much like the dangling so, but even more widespread in American English. If you feel the need to leave that preposition hanging, think of other ways to word your sentence. Not only will that give you a little mental exercise, it will even make you look smrter.

I will leave rewording examples up to you, the reader. I'll admit that this is also a weakness of mine so you may just hear me do it as well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fizzle out?

I know what you're thinking.

Two posts and then nothing.

My original plan when starting this was to make posts of substance on Fridays, but the last two Fridays have been a little "odd." With NCAA basketball, birthdays (mine) and poker, I've been a little, shall we say, under the weather on the last two Fridays.

I promise that there will be one this Friday--I've already started it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

You did say!

Here's another one that drives me batty every time I hear it. It's almost like nails on a chalkboard, but not quite. When a conversation is moving quickly--it may be smalltalk before a conference call, after initial introductions at a party, or anytime when the participants aren't terribly familiar with each other-- you may hear (or may even use yourself) the phrase "I was gonna say..."

I have come across this most when someone is trying to say something funny, but doesn't want to come right out and say it. I'm not sure if this is a confidence thing, a way of redirecting the conversation back, or a way of proving that you actually are funny. Without knowing more about the person, it's hard to tell. Interestingly enough, the people that say this tend to be reserved people, so you can't really get to know them. Perhaps it is a confidence thing.

This is a difficult one to provide an example of, but I guessing everyone has heard it at some point in their lives--you may even be guilty of using it. About the only counter I can think of is commenting back "You weren't gonna say, you did say." This has the effect of providing an uncomfortable pause in the conversation. Eventually the person doing it may get the hint, or they may think you're the worst human being ever. Either way, you probably won't hear it from that person nearly as much.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I'm posting this, so ...

Number one peeve of mine (you may have noticed the URL of this blog), and it's all thanks to having Kenny (the corrector) and JR (the culprit) as my roommates in college, is the dangling so. I'm sure you've heard it, you may even use it yourself.

Explanation: This is when someone is carrying on a conversation, talking about something they have done, or are about to do and they feel that something is implied, but they want to make sure that it's obvious that something is implied--at least, that's my guess as to the motivation.

Examples: (sorry these are pretty lame--I have trained myself not to do it)

Wife: When do you want dinner?
Husband: I'm not sure when I'll be home, so...

Boss: Can you give me a status update on the project you are working on?
Workerbee: I've run into some problems, so...

How to counter: If you are talking to someone and they insist on ending every other sentence in so, here are a few things that you can do that may train them not to, but will probably just tick them off...
  1. Stare at them blankly until they finish their thought. This only works if they didn't slip it in mid-conversation. If they ended with "so" and didn't add anything else after that--perhaps expecting a response--you can stare at them with a curious look. Most people won't get this so you will have to proceed onto #2 (but at least you get a chuckle out of it).
  2. Ask them to finish their thought. I have done this one of two ways. I may say something as simple as, "So....?" with a very long 'o' and a questioning tone at the end. Other times I may say something as blunt as, "So finish your thought," with extra emphasis on the "So."
  3. End all of your conversations with "over." I stole this from Kenny, but it can be effective if someone trails off on a lot of sentences. What will eventually happen is that they will ask you why you are ending everything with over, to which you can ask back (yes, I know answering a question with a question is bad) "Why are you ending everything with so?"
  4. Bluntly tell them not to end sentences with so. This is what our college apartment usually degraded into, at which point you really aren't paying attention to the conversation, but making sure you get a dig in. Use with caution.
Hopefully we can get rid of this problem one person at a time, but it will take a lot of work.



It seems that at least once a week I send an IM to Kenny complaining about some figure of speech. Often times he returns the favor. I decided to tell the world (or the 2 people that are listening). I hope you enjoy my commentary as much as I do (*cricket* *cricket* guess not)...