15 May 2003
And don't start sentences with conjunctions
John Rosenberg was canny enough to end a posting with this sentence:
Besides, as every good grammarian knows, you should never end a sentence with a proposition.
A commenter astutely riposted, "That, sir, is the sort of errant pedantry up with which I will not put."
Now I said all that to say all this: Once upon a time, Games magazine, taking note of the "prepositions are inappropriate words to end sentences with" rule, held a competition to see if anyone could stack two, even three of the pesky little words at the end of a sentence.
Certain liberties were taken with the definition of "preposition", I think some of these look suspiciously adverbial to me but the winner managed a string of five. It requires some setup, of course.
Child sleeps upstairs; family library is downstairs. Parental unit brings up a storybook; child rejects it, complaining, "What did you bring that book I didn't want to be read to out of up for?"
This is, I believe, up there with the old saw about how two negatives make a positive, but two positives will never make a negative.