Lazy with language: preposition usage

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I have been in preposition purgatory for the past two years. Oh, what hell it has been to see newspapers throw to’s and ats and ins and ons to the wayside. An equally despairing observation is the use of prepositions where they are not needed. I have found that the word ‘out’ is added here there and everywhere to verbs that adequately do the job by themselves.

Take it out

People talk about listing out and building out and planning out and voicing out. And these are just a few. So what happened to the days when listing, building, planning, and voicing, all were self-functioning and did the job of communicating what was happening because they were the fully-qualified verb in the sentence?

It’s on Sunday (if you don’t mind?)

On the other hand, I have noticed that some press reports say, for example,” He said Sunday…”. There is no ‘on’ in that phrase and it is technically incorrect because the person, let’s call him John, did not say ‘Sunday’ what he said was said on Sunday.

Around the bend, maybe

Times are given as “I’ll see you around two o’clock,” not at around two o’clock but just around two. These areas are very frustrating for me but I am told that English is a living language. Yes, it’s alive and well in the way that selfie and hashtag have added themselves to our vocabulary, and feed has many meanings other than having anything to do with food.

You must be mistaken

So I learned that language changes for good reasons and this can be from people migrating, from new industries emerging, from mispronunciations, from transposing letters incorrectly, and from mistakes. Oh my goodness, from mistakes what a horrible thought that language emerges from people getting it wrong repeatedly over time! I put it down to being lazy with language. Sometimes you do have to look up, not only the meaning and spelling of the word, but also how it’s pronounced. Google can assist with this, so there’s no excuse.

Now that I’ve had my soap-box moment, and can jump off, step back on earth and accept that, like anything, language changes. To the other language accuracy slaves out there I say, we can either embrace it or kill ourselves by staying stuck in the past.\


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