Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's not quite at the level of "very unique." Yet.

People, please stop saying "from whence it came." Whence means "from where."

Yes, I know you can cite usage examples. That doesn't make it right, and it's especially irksome in this particular phrase.

Now, you'll pardon me while I go to the ATM machine, enter my PIN number, and take out cash to buy some IPA ale with which to drown my sorrows with.

(Not just you, Reihan, but I do expect better from you.)


Anonymous said...

From whence do you come up with all this time on your hands?

"From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." - Sir Winston Churchill

Rick said...

I use "from whence" myself--mainly to avoid confusing people and showing off... ;-)
In fact, though, my OED informs me that "The use with from is very common... and has been used by reputable writers since the 14th century. It is now broadly accepted in standard English."
I'd say 6 or 700 years is long enough to consider a phrase "good" English.
We all have our own nitpicks, however...

TC said...

Don, As I recall the entire quote from Chuchill went like this: (Upon being corrected for ending a sentence with a preposition)...
"That is the sort of errant pedantry, up with which I shall not put." Thus, rather than urging it on people he was making fun of it. But don't ask for a citation. The citation is from the dark corner of my memory bank.

Anonymous said...

TC, Oh, I never expected anything other than wit and irony from Churchill, he was a dazzler with the lingo. As the Head Swabby of the Royal Fleet he once said, "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash." - Sir Winston Churchill