Of course, the word order there is rather dictated by the rhyming pattern. The word "about" (in the 14th century pronounced "aboot", of course) is put where it is to rhyme with "route" which ends the previous line.So stant Custance, and looketh hire aboute.
Chaucer: "The Man of Law's Tale"
But there's nothing very odd about that word order, and I could probably find some examples where the word order sounds more natural than that in very old texts if I chose to look.
It's true that Dryden at some point went back through all his writings and changed them all, moving every "to" (and so forth) behind the "which" (or whatever) to which it related ... or which it was related to.
But why do that?
Apparently, Dryden did it because that would how things would be in Latin -- because "by which", "of which", "from which" can't be "split" because they're one word, because Latin is an inflected language. So what? English doesn't work like that.
Why try to put English in a Latin strait-jacket?
I don't really mind much on live chats, message boards, etc. What irks the crap outta me (heh), is "between she and I," used in books, magazines, television, etc. Children may learn grammar in school, but they really learn it by what they hear and read, so it bothers me a lot when so called professional writers get it wrong. For just plain folks, all I ask is the occasional paragraph break so my eyes don't turn the post into some kind of psychedelic design.
"Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine
Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.
• Supposably. The word is supposedly, thank you very much.
• The Smith’s. Abuse of apostrophes has already been referenced. You know those darling carved wood placards attached to an RV or residence? Is part of the sign missing? Is it supposed to read The Smith’s house? Is there only one Smith and this is his house? Or is this the one and only Smith’s cat? Has part of the sign fallen off? Suddenly, I am filled with rage, and wish to confront the Smith about this mysterious and incomplete proclamation.
• Less than 15 items. Yes, it’s an express lane, but fewer is the word you’re looking for. Same with less calories.
• Ice tea. Similar to the use to/used to issue. Is the tea literally made by steeping leaves in ice? If so, how is this possible? Rather, the tea brew has been iced with hardened cubes of water to make it cold.
Ongoing pet peeve: I graduated college. No, the college graduated you. You graduated FROM college. Don't know why that bugs me so much.
I am also annoyed by the "with au jus" in one of the fast food commercials airing recently.
Mercedes commercial annoyance: the model had "less doors" than some other model. Okay, I was a Grammar Nazi and emailed Mercedes to let them know that it actually has fewer doors.
I love this thread.
I'm a descriptivist by nature. I think we get far too hung up on Strunk and White and forget that we speak a living language.
Oh, and I just signed my contract to teach university-level grammar.
“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde
I totally bombed on this SAT question the other day.
The Official SAT Question of the Day
Read The Declaration - End the (grain) Fed - My Primal Journeys
International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers