Things Our Schoolteachers Told Us

For many of us, school consisted of a series of “You better nots”: You better not be late for class, you better not talk in class, and you better not do countless other things of the same ilk. English classes were more of the same: You better not end a sentence with a preposition and, even more ominously, you better keep your sentences short! Twenty words, perhaps. Thirty words at the most!

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our schoolteachers have jettisoned these admonitions; and today’s grammarians assure us that we can safely end sentences with prepositions and write long sentences.

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