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My Favorite Grammar Story

This is a story about Winston Churchill and the Invasion at Normandy during WWII.

The story is that the invasion, which actually occurred 6 June, was originally scheduled for some time earlier.

This was the largest invasion force ever assembled, so there was a huge amount of men and supplies to coordinate. And as with any large army/navy, there was literally tons of paperwork trying to keep track of where people needed to go, how many bullets the soldiers were to have with them and how to get all these men fed as well.

In the middle of all this paper pushing, was a British Army captain, who was in charge of logistics--the science and art of getting all the supplies from where they were made or stored to where they were needed on the front--or in this case, to the vast armada preparing for this invasion.

This captain, as the story goes, kept sending reports and requests back to the people who had written them, demanding that they be re-written. Mr. Churchill, England's Prime Minister at the time, heard of this and sent for this captain, because he was holding up the progress in getting everything ready for this massive invasion.

Mr. Churchill asked the captain why he kept sending this reports and requests back instead of moving things along, didn't he know there was a war on?

The captain replied that the reports and requests were littered with all manner of grammatical errors that he, in good conscience as a former English teacher, could not accept. He pointed out one such error in a report he had with him: a sentence that ended with a preposition.

Mr. Churchill's response: "Captain, pass the report. It is precisely this nonsense up with which we shall not put!"

Comments

Ha! Good one. I wonder if that made the captain tear his hair out.