[Ads-l] Punchline: A thing up with which I will not put (July 31, 1941)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 18 20:49:17 UTC 2020

The Quote Investigator website has an article about a famous Churchill
anecdote concerning the placement of prepositions.

This Is the Sort of Nonsense Up With Which I Will Not Put

A kind correspondent named Braddon Upex recently told me about a new
earlier citation for the joke which he had located.

[ref] 1941 July 31, The West Sussex Gazette, Our Comment and Gossip:
Things in General, Quote Page 4, Column 2, Sussex, England. (British
Newspaper Archive) [/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
The story is told of an English master from a high school who was
called up, received a commission, and found himself in official
correspondence over military matters with a superior officer. The
superior, who was something of a martinet, precise in matters of
composition, "ticked off" his junior for ending a sentence with a
preposition. Whereupon the junior, in his reply, while acknowledging
himself the obedient servant of his superior in matters affecting his
military duties, declined to take orders from him in respect of his
use of the English language. This, he announced, was "a thing up with
which I will not put". Perhaps he has learnt otherwise since!
[End excerpt]

I've updated the QI article, but it may take a few hours before the
updated version propagates through the distributed delivery system.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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