16

Did Winston Churchill say, as some on the 'net claim, in response to being told he should not end a sentence with a preposition, something like "This is just the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put."

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    I heard EBWhite had the record for dangling prepositions. A mother was going to read a book about Australia to her son, who didn't want it and said "What did you bring that book about Down Under up for?" – Mike Dunlavey May 3 '11 at 23:11
  • There've been quotes attributed to Churchill that were said by other people, so I wouldn't be surprised if this one is bogus. – Andrew Grimm May 5 '11 at 6:22
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    @Mike technically "Down Under" is a noun phrase in this context, but still impressive. – DJClayworth Jun 1 '11 at 14:32
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    @Mike, @DJ, I have heard a different version: "Daddy, what did you bring that book that I didn't want to be read to out of up for." e.g. itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001084.html – Oddthinking Jul 1 '11 at 11:31
  • @Oddthinking: Good one. That gets rid of the "noun phrase" objection. – Mike Dunlavey Jul 1 '11 at 14:52
12

Probably not. Here is evidence of a 1948 attribution to Churchill in Parliament, though it had previously appeared in 1942 as an anonymous statement and the Churchill Centre and Museum concludes it was

an invented phrase put in Churchill’s mouth.

1

The source is actually a humourous story in the Strand Magazine, May, 1942. See here (The Quote Investigator): http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/07/04/churchill-preposition/ Churchill never said it.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

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    Can you flesh up this answer? What is the evidence presented? – Sklivvz Jul 21 '12 at 9:42

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