TDQ Investigates: Emily Brewster And Merriam-Webster Changing The Rules As They Go Along

Emily Brewster, Artist's Impression

Emily Brewster, Associate Editor, Merriam-Webster pictured in an unsolicited portrait in oil on canvas.

Imagine our surprise when we heard that Mirriam-Webster and their crazy-hot, glasses-wearing associate editor Emily Brewster decided to change a basic rule we were raised on. They now say, after centuries of being preached against, it’s perfectly acceptable to end sentences with prepositions, which goes completely against every lesson we were taught before.

Well, that’s something we here at TDQ will not stand for. We have standards that we strive towards. Correct grammar is what this site was founded upon.

We are not going to change our way of writing simply because a terribly attractive (did we mention the glasses?) editor at a world-renowned dictionary publisher suddenly endorses this anarchist way of writing, beauty notwithstanding.

We shudder to think about what rules they may decide willy-nilly to change next. They seem to think that grammar structure is something that people can all of a sudden live without.

Rules, structure and guidelines are things that English students need to be able to hold on to. Abolishing hard-fast constructs will serve to do absolutely nothing but confuse and dishearten the would-be writer inside. It will destroy the poet and future Shakespeare from within.

Where do they get off? All of a sudden, they decide to relax simple, basic, understandable rules and tear them completely down. And there’s no middle ground; there’s no area of writing in between. In this new dawn of proper grammar, you’re either for this horrible new writing rule or against.

We used to stand behind any and all new ideas Mirriam-Webster put forth. But now, we have to wonder if they really know what the hell they’re talking about. We’re not sure this ridiculous new way of thinking is something we can get past.

We also wonder if this is something old-school English teachers can recover from. Do Emily and Mirriam-Webster know what they’ve gotten themselves into?

We hope Emily and the folks read this and we get our point across. If not, we may have to take this thing bigger and get more writers, teachers and English-lovers aboard.

This likely isn’t over. But we aren’t through. As long as the Enligh language is being attacked in this fashion, we’ll be around. That’s a promise we plan to live by.

You are now informed. Go and do likewise.

On this report, James Krahn helped us out.

8 thoughts on “TDQ Investigates: Emily Brewster And Merriam-Webster Changing The Rules As They Go Along

    • Indeed. Smart and attractive, a combination that is very hard to beat. We are attempting to reach Mrs. Brewster in the hopes of doing at TDQ Q&A. Fingers crossed.
      You are now informed. Go and do likewise.

  1. Whew! Glad it wasn’t just me. I just sent the ‘preposition’ video to a friend today, commenting on how hot I find Ms. Brewster. Regarding the *actual* subject matter of the video, all my life I’d believed, as G. Gordon Liddy insisted, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which we will not put!” But in my message to my friend, I added, “Although it bugs me, she’s someone I’d consider doing it FOR.”
    That was before I saw your clever article, above. Great minds, eh?

    • Thank you for your comment. Great minds, indeed! We are trying to contact the lovely Mrs. Brewster in an attempt to convince her to do a TDQ Q&A. We are hoping it’s something she’d be up for. Ha!
      You are now informed. Go and do likewise.

  2. Pingback: “I Argued Over The Meaning Of The Word ‘Natural’ For A Five-Hour Bus Ride:” A TDQ Q&A With Lexicographer Emily Brewster | The Daily Quarterly

  3. A guy from texas was visiting Harvard. As he strolled through the campus he asked a student where the bathroom was at. The student replied “Here at harvard we don’t end a sentence with a preposition”. The texan responded “I’m sorry, can you tell me where the bathroom is at asshole.” :)

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