I will be voting for Senator Obama, but….

How about the slogan on those signs?
Does it make you internally cringe, just a little bit?
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12 responses to “I will be voting for Senator Obama, but….

  1. Juniper the Goosman

    No, not at all. There is respecting good, clear grammar and there is being overly picky. Having a problem with sentences that end in prepositions is often the latter, in my opinion.

  2. Change in which we can believe?

    Political slogans drive me nuts as it is…

  3. Have you ever heard “This is something up with which I will not put”? This is one of those situations where one has to be lenient with the rules. If the sign-writers had to be grammatically correct, the sign would have to read “Change in which we believe.” While I myself appreciate the sanctity of grammar in its most common definition, slogans are meant to be simple, short, and easy to remember.
    Formal and informal grammar (in its true definition) are two very different things. The glory of our language lies in its ability to reflect the needs and requirements of its speakers.

  4. I’m just glad someone besides the crazies outside Dunkin Donuts are demanding change.

  5. I like the one in the back:

    3 days to change.

    Then what happens?

  6. Since you got “Woe is I” for Christmas, check out page 183. O’Conner puts this rule in her list “The Living Dead,” saying, “This is a rule that modern grammarians have tried to get us out from under.” Sometimes following this rule makes a sentence more convoluted; I say it should be applied judiciously and with exceptions, which I would make for Obama’s sign here.

  7. I always hate this kind of thing. You’d think the slogan-writing folks could have done better.

    Maybe a lolcat should have the copywriting job.

    “We can has change?”

  8. It makes me internally cringe to know you are voting for Obama . . .

  9. And it makes me cringe both internally and externally knowing that someone as politically active and involved as you doesn’t care about the primaries!

  10. Ending sentences with a preposition for the sake of clarity and to avoid awkwardly idiotic constructions is fine. Language is not, contrary to some opinions, a construct of rules to which we all must cleave without reason or thought. Language’s primary and most important function is clear communication.

    Be less confident in the rules. That, GV, is a change I can believe in.

  11. I completely understand why they would phrase it like that, and I agree it is much more clear, but whenever I hear it I do cringe a bit. that being said, the slogan “Change we can believe in” is a lot more catchy, even if that little part of me inside is screaming its wrong, but I’m still voting for Obama. I think the bigger problem is that correct grammar has been browbeaten into some of us (myself included) to the extent where we value it above practicality.

  12. I thank you for talking about this. I, at my young age, drilled this rule into my head, and none of my sentences OR CLAUSES ever end with a preposition, verbally or otherwise. The signs have bothered me from day one. I feel the phrase “change in which you beleive” is no less catchy, but has the benefit of being intelligent, and, might I add, correct. As it stands, the slogan is immature, unprofessional, and very, very grating.

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