English language Uncategorized

Geek mythology

Q: The techie editors at the computer magazine where I work insist that one should never start a sentence with a conjunction or end one with a preposition. You say on the Grammar Myths page of your website that these constructions are acceptable. Do you feel, however, that they may be too informal for magazine writing?

A: The short answer is no.

There’s nothing grammatically wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition (here’s the blog entry for that one) And there’s nothing wrong with starting a sentence with a conjunction either (here’s that blog item). Conjunctions can properly be used to connect words, sentences, even paragraphs.

Writers have been using conjunctions at the beginning of sentences and prepositions at the end for centuries. In my opinion these usages are not too informal for technical writing (but I wouldn’t overdo the conjunctions).

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