end a sentance with

Shouldn’t it be ‘by’? I mean, ‘by 1/e’ instead of ‘to 1/e of it’s original value’?” asks one of the inquisitive backs of the heads in the front of 3 Leconte Hall.

It’s a fine point, really, and not unimportant. Grammar lessons from the peanut gallery are always appreciated in lecture, I’m sure. And of course there’s nothing wrong with expecting linguistic competency from lecturers. It’s just years after having abandoned subjects in which the matter at hand is the grammar itself, I usually find it hard to care about grammatical fluctuations on small scales. Even as a former English Major, I tend to pick my battles. But this lecturer’s a young whippersnapper. Accordingly, he promptly spits out a apologetic but witty reply:

“I’ve been working with Europeans a lot lately, and what I’ve learned is that prepositions, really, have no meaning.”

Most things that are funny are funny becuase they are sort of true; I snicker a little, especially considering that the Eurostrange affect to my own English apparently takes about two days to decay upon any return to the States. Still, there’s the tiny critic in the back of my head, the peanut gallery to the peanut gallery, thinking:

Aaaand…how many languages do you speak, O, Mr. American Professor of Physics?

Yeah, I thought so.

Really, the last people we (we=America, in this case) should be blaming for our own linguistic incompetency are the Europeans. Non? Donctha think?

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