Thursday, 22 March 2007

The prepositions are fine, but...

A friend asked me today whether it was OK to use a preposition at the end of a sentence in a training manual he was writing. I was able to reassure him that his use of prepositions was fine. I even quoted the "Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Style" (Oxford University Press, 2004, p.96) which unambiguously rubbishes the "no-preposition-at-the-end-of-a-sentence" rule:

"Some people argue that you should never place
a preposition at the end of a sentence...
This opinion is...completely wrong. Writers have been
placing prepositions at the end of sentences for
centuries, for the very good reason that this
is often the best place for them...
So this is one "rule" that can safely be ignored."

However, as you can see below, my friend had been so concerned about this non-rule that he had blundered into some very bad referencing instead. Here's what he originally wrote:

"COO users will not be able to view records that
are sitting in the HR bucket. HR users will be able
to view all records, no matter which bucket they
are sitting in."

When I pointed out to him what he had actually written, he laughed and cheerfully went back to his own "bucket" to make some corrections.

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