‘Where are you at?!’ Hiding behind that preposition. —My Dad…and countless other parents.
Today’s Wednesday Word features a little word–“at”–used in a widespread and annoying practice: its use at the end of sentences.
The biggest offenders?
Where I’m at.
Where they at?
And, in what I describe as the “corporate team speak” version of this offense: Here’s where we’re at.
Clearly, my father did his work well.
Nothing makes me gnash my teeth more than hearing those phrases uttered, particularly in a professional setting. Now I admit that I do not end sentences with prepositions, even though writer and editor Mignon Fogarty (better known as Grammar Girl) said that I am allowed to do so. I simply re-write the sentence. So perhaps I am a bit fussy about using prepositions in that way.
But she backs me up when it comes to ending sentences with “at”:
The problem is that “Where are you at?” doesn’t need the preposition at the end. If you say “Where are you?” it means the same thing. So the “at” is unnecessary. You should leave it off.
So please help me stop gnashing my teeth. Unless you’re Beck, refrain from the grammatically incorrect (and extraneous besides) use of the word “at.”
Where I am.
Where are they?
Here’s where we are. (If you must use this construction. I prefer “Here’s where we stand” or “This is the situation.”)
And that’s your Wednesday Word.