A classic old joke involving literacy rules goes like this:
An English teacher was sitting in an airport coffee shop waiting for her flight back to Connecticut, when a friendly Southern Belle sat down next to her.
“Where y’all goin’ to?” asked the Southern Belle.
Turning her nose in the air, the snob replied “I don’t answer people who end their sentences with prepositions.”
The Southern Belle thought a moment, and tried again.
“Where y’all goin’ to, [insert vulgar/sexist/racist noun]?”
It happens all the time: we end sentences with prepositions and someone corrects us. But are they right to do so? What about when we painstakingly re-organize our sentences so that the prepositions are buried deep within them: are we wasting our time? Emily Brewster, Associate Editor for Merriam-Webster, gets to the root of the issue and comes to a surprising conclusion!