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Sonic200
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20 May 2022, 4:20 pm

Person 1: Where is the library at?

Person 2: Here in Harvard we don't end a sentence with a preposition.

Person 1: Okay, where is the library at, jerk!?



Fenn
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20 May 2022, 7:04 pm

A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with.


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Mountain Goat
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20 May 2022, 7:09 pm

Why do you add the word "At" to the sentence anyway? To us Brits it sounds weird! Like "Where's your head at?"
Here we ask "Where is the library?" We don't need an "At" because the "At" would be a pointless word to put as it does not make any sense. (Well, not to us anyway!)

Different countries do different things so maybe someone started things and everyone else copied?

I find it interesting who started adding the "At" word in the wrong place in the first place. Probably was many years ago over there?

We have some odd things as well over here where in recent years on TV (And others copy) where they ask a question where one would nornally expect an answer and one waits foe an answer but realizes they have said the sentance as a statement and totally mixed up their grammatical values of their ways of speaking.

Example is that instead of saying "This is good" as a statement or asking "Isn't this good?" as a question where one expects an answer (Totally pointless on TV as it is a one way communication),
they say "How good is that?" which is a totally incorrect use of gramma to use on TV, and it shows how low the standards of the english language are here in the UK these days!



Fenn
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20 May 2022, 10:26 pm

I think even in The UK there are local idioms and idiosyncratic language. You might say “full stop” as opposed to what? Stopping but not fully? Isn't that really “still going”. Or “what, what” or “hello, hello, hello” isn’t just one sufficient?

The joke here has to do with class distinction. What would be normal usage to one group (lower class or working class) is considered “wrong” and reason to assert authority. The meaning is really clear. The food final response is not one of deference but of asserting personal self esteem over “rule based English”. Generally speaking there are many cases where regional or class based language usage in spoken English differs from rule based or written English.

The school teacher judges “correct English” by rules, the linguist by actual usage.

Asserting that British English is superior to American English clearly misses the joke (or underlines its point that some over estimate how entitled they are to dictate other’s grammar).


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21 May 2022, 3:43 am

I grew up in an era where they were trying a new thing which was where we would learn to spell by the sounds of the letters and my Mum grew up in the traditional ways and I must say that I do struggle with languages while my Mum does not.
It is difficult to compare my Mum and I though as she could read and write from the age of two and a half onwards and by the age of six she had read most of the adult books in her local library.

I was told at the age of about 12 that I was not reading enough books even though I spent most of my time reading railway books and had done for quite a while as they were a means of hiding or security... (A means of blotting out stress by reading books bout my hobby).
The problem is I had (And in a way though it is larger then it was I still do) a poor vocabluary. What I mean by this is that the words that I use often I duplicate rather than using more complex words and I simply ignore the complicated words. In fact, when I read complex words in a book I ignore them and look at the context as looking them up in a dictionary does not work because I can be there all day trying to work it out as the dictionary will use lots of even more complicated words to look up their meanings to describe the first word and so on until I lose the meaning of the first word I was looking up! The main issue is my ability to remember what the new word meant. I could do it for around an hour or two but then it goes.
In school I remember a maths teacher complaining to my parents that he did not understand me. He would teach me some new maths subject and I would get it and master it, but the next lesson in a day ot twos time it was as if I had never been there in the first lesson and he had to start from scratch and teach me again!

I did grow up in the era of physical punishment in school so it was not as if we had no incentive to learn so it is not by my lack of effort, as I put in more effort then most to avoid getting things wrong as I had come close to getting the slipper or cane (Cane in secondary school) for (According to the odd teacher) for not putting enough effort in to learn my work when I was trying my best to learn! And for not doing homework on time but to be honest, when I was at home I really needed to take my mind off the stresses of school or I would shut down. I also needed a "Trigger" now and then. What I mean by this is that I could go into mindblank mode on occasions where there was no way to go furter in what I was doing unless I had an occasional mental trigger from someone else. (Not sure how to describe it). It is like I knew how to do things but my brain would hit a wall if I tried to continue to do it, but if someone told me again how to do the thing that my brain already would know by a very simple prompting on whatever it was that set off the mindblank stage that stopped me, my brain would "Free up" again and I could continue as if nothing had happened. I get this when I am talking and it is why I go off on tangent after tangent as if I try to talk direct I can hit these walls. But if I keep shifting what it is I am talking about, I avoid hitting mind blank. No one notices unless I am in a position where I have to answer straight to the point which is where I struggle. I can do it if the answer is one word long but if the answer requires a few straight to the point sentences and I am stressed (Like when I visit the doctor) I have to talk about things I did not intend to talk about to shift the subject in the hope that I can eventually mention the subject that I wanted to see the doctor about. Written notes do not help as reminders because when I hit mind blank I don't think about reading them! Written notes only work if I have not had mind blank and if I have not had mindblank I don't need them! (Other people do not understand this).

But here I am having written a lot of tangents and I have forgotton the origional reply that I was going to make!



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21 May 2022, 12:10 pm

Non-native English speaker here, and I saw nothing wrong with that. What exactly is the problem? Is it grammatically incorrect, or some accent thing that people in some places don't want to hear?



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21 May 2022, 12:15 pm

I live in Canada. People in the UK think we're American. People in the US think we're British. And I am very very sick of it. Everything has to be dominated by either the States or the UK and I'm so sick of it it makes me want to take a polar dip into a swimming pool full of broken hockey sticks.



temp1234
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21 May 2022, 12:36 pm

Is this another song title?

The word "where" is considered as an adverb and it doesn't require a preposition "at". This sentence is equivalent to saying, "The library is at there", which is bad because "there" is an adverb. "Where is the library?" is correct. Having a preposition at the end of a sentence itself is not necessarily grammatically incorrect.



naturalplastic
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21 May 2022, 1:57 pm

Fireblossom wrote:
Non-native English speaker here, and I saw nothing wrong with that. What exactly is the problem? Is it grammatically incorrect, or some accent thing that people in some places don't want to hear?


I dont know a "preposition" from a hole in the ground.

But I know not to say it that way because its incorrect.

If I saw a guy in the field shooting a rifle I might ask "what are you shooting at?". And we might reply "at that flock of ducks over there.".

But if I am looking for the library I would say "where is the library". Youre not stuffing the library building into a cannon and firing it at a target. So you stop the sentence at the "it" in "where is it?". Adding the "at" makes no sense.

Except you probably would hear me say it on occasion- when I am being emphatic. "Where are my car keys AT?".



Fenn
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21 May 2022, 3:38 pm

Where’s the library at?

At the corner of 2nd and Main

You just have to start using your Uncle Ned.

( 88 very British phrases that will confuse anybody who didn't grow up in the UK )


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Last edited by Fenn on 21 May 2022, 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Fenn
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21 May 2022, 4:05 pm

https://english.stackexchange.com/quest ... ly-correct


https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/educa ... you-at?amp


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Sonic200
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21 May 2022, 9:10 pm

temp1234 wrote:
Is this another song title?

The word "where" is considered as an adverb and it doesn't require a preposition "at". This sentence is equivalent to saying, "The library is at there", which is bad because "there" is an adverb. "Where is the library?" is correct. Having a preposition at the end of a sentence itself is not necessarily grammatically incorrect.


There is a song that was a hit in the early 2000s with the title "Where the Party At".



naturalplastic
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21 May 2022, 10:57 pm

Fenn wrote:
Where’s the library at?

At the corner of 2nd and Main

You just have to start using your Uncle Ned.

( 88 very British phrases that will confuse anybody who didn't grow up in the UK )


My "Uncle Ned"?

I will have to ponder that over a couple of Britneys.



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22 May 2022, 8:52 am

Fenn wrote:
A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with.


People shouldn’t be allowed into libraries without grammatical excellence and the ability to clearly and correctly state what they are thinking about.



kraftiekortie
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22 May 2022, 8:54 am

If one just omits the “at,” it would save lots of trouble for the speaker and for the listener.



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22 May 2022, 8:57 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
If one just omits the “at,” it would save lots of trouble for the speaker and for the listener.


Yes!

I, for one, was extremely troubled by this error. I can’t imagine how the listener felt.