A reader of my articles sent me an email. It read:
Dear Ms. DiResta:
I recently read your article "Six Sloppy Speech Habits". I would like to add a seventh: Ending sentences with the word "at."
It is cringe-worthy how many people put that particular preposition at the end of sentences these days, as in, "I don't know where my notebook is at." And, "Let's get back to our lesson. Where were we at?"
It sounds so sloppy and unprofessional and just plain ignorant.
I would love to hear your comments on this.
Thank you for reading my article and for your contribution. I agree with you. This would fall into the category of grammatical errors.
You should not end a sentence with a preposition. It's more appropriate to say "I don't know where I put my notebook." A better alternative to "Where were we at?" is to say "Where were we?"
When it comes to language, usage is 90% of the law. In other words, when expressions are used frequently they become part of the vernacular. But ending a sentence with the word "at" is not considered grammatically correct.
Successful people have a command of the language. Sloppy speech habits can cost you a job interview or promotion. It's definitely not effective in any business presentation.
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Let us know what you think about sloppy speech habits in the work place.