|Original cartoon found at this link: http://www.marktoon.co.uk/gags.htm|
Ending a Sentence with a Proposition--As a Midwesterner, I will agree with Winston Churchill (even though he wasn't from the Midwest, and this quote wasn't from him anyway) that "This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put." As above, the "rule" about not ending a sentence with a proposition is supposed to come from Latin. However, English has a lot of idiomatic expressions ending with propositions that sometimes do belong at the end of a sentence.
Starting a Sentence with a Conjunction: I did extensive research to see if this was really forbidden: in other words, I watched "Conjunction Junction" and determined that they never say you can't use a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence (two negatives make a positive, right?):
It's true that conjunctions are used to join things, and yes, you do need them when you're joining two short sentences to make a complex one. But what do you do if the next thought is closely related to what you just said, and you don't want to ramble on and on, like Tristam Shandy delivering a twelve-hour filibuster in the House of Commons (or Senate, or wherever people avoid doing the job we elected them to do)? So, start the next sentence with a conjunction already. But don't overdo it, because you know I believe in nothing in excess and everything in moderation.
What do you think about these writing rules? Do you obey them or break them? Are there any other writing rules you'd like me to discuss in this series?