The sainted Dr. Buls said whole sermons can be written on Greek prepositions. In Lutheran elementary school I was required in 6th grade to memorize the following poem.
Until by into after from
Across against with toward on
Among along around of to
Beside beyond below at through
Upon in for beneath between
Behind before without within
Up over under down about
Since underneath except throughout
Now through the “magic” of internet, I learn that this poem was written by a Lutheran elementary teacher named Mr. Greutzmacher who taught at Elm Grove Lutheran School. Another verse has sense been added which reads as follows:
Like during on account of as
Because of above according to near
In addition to by means of aside from aboard
Out of instead of in place of past
Given the fact that many elementary school children don’t memorize multiplication tables, I don’t think there will be a resurgence of this poem. However, prepositions still rule.
While watching the recent movie Reservation Road, as usual I had the closed captioning on. The actor speaks the line, “I hated my mom crying all the time.” The closed caption reads, “I hated my mom for crying all the time.” In the former, the character is expressing pity for his mother. In the later, he is explaining why he hates his mother. I think this is a critical point in the movie.
I don’t know is if the actor or the closed captioning people blew it. I also don’t know if ‘for’ is a preposition in this sentence, so much for my memorizing that poem. My wife tells me it can’t be because “crying all the time” isn’t a person, place, or thing and prepositions need nouns. It probably is a conjunction, but I didn’t want to title this “Conjunctions Rule.”
If any English majors try to post a comment about this, to use a phrase Churchill never said supposedly in response to someone critical of him ending sentences with prepositions, “”This is the kind of tedious [sometimes “pedantic”] nonsense up with which I will not put!”