| || |
Wow. How long has it been since last I posted? What is that which I've been doing since last I wrote? Miraculous, wondrous things---things which take both patience and time? Yes, of course. But I've also been working. A lot. Apologies for my recent absences.
Let me make it up to you by writing about Bono.
I have been putting off answering this particular question for two reasons. One: Pop music is not meant to be definitive. If you are turning to Justin Timberlake for your English grammar advice (Justin looks glorious in a suit, but he used the invented participle "bleeded" for the past tense of "to bleed") then you may have a problem. Two: Despite popular belief, there is absolutely nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition.
I think of prepositions as small words (though of course they're not always small) that are not verbs, but that tell us something about their noun's motion. A few common prepositions are "about, above, among, before, behind, between, beside, by, down, during, for, from, in, inside, of, off, outside, over, past, to, than, toward, under, up, upon, with, within." This list is in no way exhaustive, but I hope it demonstrates my point. "The song was written by Bono" contains the preposition "by" which is doing its job by telling us a little more information about the subject, "the song."
The belief that it is wrong to end a sentence with a preposition is why we sometimes get awkward sentence constructions like those in the first paragraph of this post. Here's another example: "This is the road to which I was directed." This is to avoid ending the sentence with the preposition "to" though that might be the natural choice.
I am happy to report, however, that this is a bogus claim. In recent times, grammarians have universally agreed that all this rule does is to make otherwise simple sentences complicated and even sometimes downright confounding. There is no good reason to abide by it.
It is often still recommended that you avoid ending a sentence with a preposition in professional writing items such as your resumé or your school expository essay on Macbeth. Strangely, this is not because some circles conform to the rule about prepositions, but because some people don't realize that they are conforming to a bogus rule. It would be awful for you to miss out on a job or lose marks in class because of someone else's ignorance.
However, the next time you listen to a Madonna song, don't cut up her grammar. That's not what her music is for. Be entertained, sing along, shake it 'til you make it. U2 was not wrong though. "I Still Haven't Found That for which I'm Looking" is not a good alternative title. Doesn't roll off the tongue.
So, darling readers, don't blame Bono. It's not his fault.