Is Following the “Rules” Tripping Up Your Message?

by Chris Bielaszka-DuVernay

Will gravity fail if you end a sentence with a preposition? No, of course not. In fact, your most sophisticated readers won’t even bat an eye. And it’s not because they’ve become so accustomed to the shortcuts and improvisations of e-mail that they don’t notice when someone breaks a rule. They still notice, all right. It’s just that they know that some “rules” aren’t rules at all—and never were. They’re superstitions. Here are the four most common:

1. Never End a Sentence with a Preposition

This is one of the most enduring of superstitions, despite centuries of commentary trying to dispel it. The origins of this bugaboo lie in etymology and in the origins of English ...

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