Hanging Prepositions

Harbinger   Friday, March 12, 2004, 21:47 GMT
1. To whom are you speaking?

2. Who are you speaking to?

Come on, own up - which one would you use?
Chilli   Friday, March 12, 2004, 21:49 GMT
Chilli   Friday, March 12, 2004, 21:53 GMT
Which is nonsense up with which I shall not put.

And now I really am going home... Really.
Alice   Friday, March 12, 2004, 23:08 GMT
There might be some situations in which I'd use # 2, (esp. if I was speaking with somone I thought might be off put by such formal grammer), but honestly, I'd normally us # 1.
mjd   Saturday, March 13, 2004, 07:10 GMT
If I were speaking colloquially or informally, I'd opt for #2. If I were writing an essay or in a formal situation, I'd opt for #1.
Tony   Monday, March 15, 2004, 04:33 GMT
In spoken English option 1 sounds ridiculously pendantic. I don't remember ever heariing it used in normal conversation. I wouldn't use it even if I were speaking to the Queen. Maybe she's use it though?

I wouldn't even use it in written English.

The use of 'whom' in spoken English says 'hey listen to me - I'm showing off my erudition'. Do you really want people to hear you saying that? I don't.

mjd   Monday, March 15, 2004, 05:34 GMT
I disagree. I don't think there is anything wrong with writing "lofty" if one can do it well.
Sanjay   Monday, March 15, 2004, 05:52 GMT
Hey Guys,

I feel statement #1 is in everyone's practice. I do. I even see all my friends also use the same way. Statement #2 may be true for written english.
momo   Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 05:07 GMT
I feel statement #2 is in everyone's practice. Statement #1 may be true for written english.
Tony   Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 05:46 GMT
Here's the quoatation alluded to by Chili.

Churchill on Prepositions

The saying attributed to Winston Churchill rejecting the rule against ending a sentence with a preposition must be among the most frequently mutated witticisms ever. I have received many notes from correspondents claiming to know what the "original saying" was, but none of them cites an authoritative source.

The alt.english.usage FAQ states that the story originated with an anecdote in Sir Ernest Gowers' Plain Words (1948). Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill's sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, and the Prime Minister, very proud of his style, scribbled this note in reply: "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." The American Heritage Book of English Usage agrees.

Full article http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~brians/errors/churchill.html
Josh   Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 06:50 GMT
I would you both. If it were a formal conversation, or if I were talking business calls, I would you the second one.

"To whom were you speaking with a moment ago?"
"To whom did you direct those comments regarding the '04 projections?"

Having a casual conversation and using the above questions is slightly awkward. Regardless of Churchill's statement on ending a sentence with prepositions. When talking/writing outside of an extremly formal environment, it's the only fitting way.
Chilli   Tuesday, March 16, 2004, 11:05 GMT
Josh, I think that Churchill was not actually an advocate of the end-of-a-sentence-preposition rule. Some people think it was though up by the poet John Dryden. Others accredit it to eighteenth-century Bishop of London, Robert Lowth*. All ways around it was an effort to be more graceful and elegant on paper, or in speech, if you can think that fast on your feet. Perhaps Bishops back then didn't have much to occupy their time?

*CBC News. Words: Woe and Wonder [online]. Available from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/words/prepositions.html [Accessed: 16Mar04]