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22281Re: [mythsoc] Re: language change

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  • John Rateliff
    Apr 28, 2011
      One further thought I find it amusing is that some grammarians try to 'correct' people who say "from whence", arguing that the proper usage is just "whence". They fail to take into account that "whence" has pretty much dropped out of spoken English, except in the literary tag ("from whence you came") David mentions. So their 'correction' would, if adopted, mean the word's disappearance from usage altogether.

      On Apr 28, 2011, at 9:11 AM, David Emerson wrote:
      ". . .  You better go back to from whence you came."

      Okay, so his grammar is somewhat mangled...

      Actually, it's elliptical: "You [had] better go back to [from when you came], with the verbal auxiliary "had" dropped (as it sometimes is in colloquial English for emphasis and "from whence you came" serving as the object of the preposition "to". It works because from-whence-you-came is enough of a cliche or tag line (like 'to whom it may concern'*) that he cleverly uses it as a unit for poetic effect.

      Ain't grammar grand?


      *itself pretty much the only survival of whom in spoken English.
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