Category: Prepositions

The Wicked Of

Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014, at 5:03 pm

What would prompt H.W. Fowler to pick on the word of? Fowler (1858-1933), whom many regard as the dean of English-language scholars, ascribed to of “the evil glory of being accessary to more crimes against grammar than any other.” Do not be fooled by looks. Weighing in at a svelte two letters, this petite preposition …

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Learning From the Masters

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, at 1:13 pm

There is a universal fellowship of nitpickers and always has been. More than a century ago, the iconoclastic American writer Ambrose Bierce gave the world Write It Right (1909) and The Devil’s Dictionary (1911). George Orwell published his classic essay Politics and the English Language in 1946. In the 1970s and ’80s, former NBC news …

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On to vs. Onto

Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2010, at 8:53 am

Rule 1: In general, use onto as one word to mean "on top of," "to a position on," "upon." Examples: He climbed onto the roof. Let’s step onto the dance floor. Rule 2: Use onto when you mean "fully aware of," "informed about." Examples: I'm onto your scheme. We canceled Julia's surprise party when we …

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Problems with Prepositions

Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2008, at 12:31 am

Prepositions are certain words that go directly before nouns. They often show direction; for example, below, above, over, under, around, through, in, out, between, among, to, toward(s), etc. Other common prepositions include of, for, from, with, like. Rule: You shouldn’t use or end a sentence with an unnecessary preposition, i.e., when the meaning is clear …

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Different From vs. Different Than

Posted on Friday, July 6, 2007, at 2:46 pm

Different from is the standard phrase. Most scholars obstinately avoid different than, especially in simple comparisons, such as You are different from me. However, some of the experts are more tolerant of different than, pointing out that the phrase has been in use for centuries, and has been written by numerous accomplished authors. These more-liberal …

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