Friday, September 2, 2011

Feel-good Friday--Vindication!

This Feel-good Friday post is about writing and it's a little personal, too. When my book, The Stone Traveler, was released I had a reviewer criticize my writing because I ended a few sentences with a preposition. I was crushed, but instead of arguing that her thinking was outdated, I merely thanked her for the review. Quibbling with reviewers is bad form.

But I felt vindicated in my usage of prepositions when I came across this video clip from Merriam-Webster.

So, of course, I wanted to share it with you.

I didn't remember that Shakespeare ended some of his sentences with prepositions. Not bad company to be associated with. ;)

How do you feel about ending sentences with prepositions?

Has there been a time when you have felt vindicated?


  1. I think it's a style choice, similar to beginning a sentence with "and" or "but" (which I do all the time!). It's an old-fashioned "rule" that teachers love hammering into their students heads. At least mine did, so I do tend to avoid it out of habit, but it doesn't bother me when I see it. Good for you for taking the high road and thanking the reviewer!

  2. Oh, I love this trailer! I use prepositions at the end of sentences. I know it grates on the nerves of some folks, but Merriam-Webster's right. Sometimes not doing so just sounds weird. Thanks for sharing, Kathi.

  3. Laura:
    I think you're right about the teachers pushing it. Though I must have been absent that day because it doesn't bother me. :)

    Thanks for stopping by. It's good to see you!

  4. Dora,
    Wasn't it fun to hear this? I was so excited because sometimes you just can't avoid it. And it sounds more natural to me, especially in dialogue.

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  5. 'All things in moderation' - that's my motto. Sometimes breaking the rules works. sometimes cliches work. sometimes ending with prepositions or using a few 'ly' adverbs is okay. I think critics go overboard sometimes... :)
    Fellow campaigner by the way, but I think we've already connected

  6. LOL Kathi! In my humble opinion, there should be a natural dialogue. Kudos to you for taking the high road on the review. (The high road wins everytime!) Pleasure to meet you!

  7. Tracy:
    You're right. All things in moderation. And I agree that some critics go overboard.

    I'm glad we made a connection through the campaign. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Thanks, Christy! Reviews are so important and I never want to be that author who can't take criticism, but sometimes . . .

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  9. A great post!

    I spent my summer removing preps (as I lovingly call them), only to find I could have played outside instead? *faints*

  10. Glynis,
    Well, you probably did the right thing if removing prepositions made it stronger, however, if it made them weaker so the sentence didn't sound natural put 'em back. You're all right!

    Knowing you, me thinks you were pulling my leg. ;)

  11. Hi Kathi!

    Wanted to come over and say hi to a fellow campaigner. Nice to "meet" you.

    I hate all these rules on writing. I think it's important to understand the rules, yes, but I guess I'm a rebel. For me, it's all about clarity of thought and what the reader takes away from the experience.

    Please consider me a new follower!

  12. Hello from a fellow campaigner in the thriller/suspense group.

    I can't think of any instances off the top of my head where I end a sentence with a preposition or prepositional phrase, but I'm positive I must have. I certainly don't see anything wrong with it. And good for you not quibbling with the reviewer. (hmmm, is that a prepositional phrase I just ended with??) Oops... did it again.

    I can think of a few times when I felt vindicated. Once, I made some changes to a manuscript that were recommended by critique partners, but when my book was signed by my publisher, my editor had me change a few things... and those changes were exactly how I'd written it in the first place.

  13. Hi Kathi -

    I've always detested the mental gymnastics this rule causes. Alas, I think most editors/reviewers will hold to it until their dying day.

    Susan :)

  14. Susan,
    I know what you mean about some writers and editors holding to old editing standards. I'm lucky that my editor follows current guidelines.

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  15. Doralynn,
    LOL. Doesn't it feel good to know that you were right?

    I've experienced the same sort of vindication with my writers group, but I still rely on them to keep me on course, because they're right more often than wrong.

  16. Bryce,
    I'm with you. Clarity of thought is what is most important.

    Thanks for the follow. :)

  17. Hi Kathi-
    I'm a fellow campaigner, enjoyed the information. Good to know! I'm still thinking about the Picky Preposition reviewer though! Wow. :)

  18. Coleen:
    Glad you liked the clip. I love your term, Picky Preposition Reviewer.

    A writer can't please everyone and that really was the only fault she pointed out. So it wasn't as bad as it sounded. But it still bugs me. ;)



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