When Churchill Got His Foot Caught on a Dangling Preposition

Winston Churchill

Few people have ever commanded such a mastery of the English language as Winston Churchill. He labored over his speeches and writing, carefully selecting just the right words in just the right order to accomplish their intended purpose. Once he settled on the way to express his thoughts, he did not take kindly to anyone’s tampering.

In his book Plain Words, Ernest Gowers records how Churchill was outraged when he received the proofs for one of his publications and learned that an editor had clumsily rearranged one of his sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition. Churchill responded with a curt note, saying, “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”

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