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Sex and Prepositions

Warning: For mature audiences only. Language and some sexual content.

What’s really destroying family values in the United States? Some sincere but misguided souls think it’s the institution of same-sex marriage, as if what other couples might do would have any effect on one’s own bigendered nuclear marriage. No, the real threat comes from the language we allow in our homes, even in earshot of the vulnerable minds of little children.

We need a Defense of Prepositions Act to prevent blatant immorality among those promiscuous little words. Not only do they skip out on their responsibilities to the phrases that they are attached to (there goes one right now, shame on you, to!), but they even become transgendered, as it were (transpartofspeeched, to be exact), and run off (stop it, off!) with verbs. O tempora, o mores!

It’s bad enough that respectable nouns turn into verbs, and vice versa, at the drop of a hat. They are, to use an appropriately vulgar term, switch-hitters. Those double dealers are everywhere, invading our homes, including some of our closest associates: look, taste, smell, run, walk, talk, arm, face, smile, frown, gasp—indeed we may gasp at the shocking disregard of conventional values that these words display. (Display—there’s another right in our face.) How shameful that in this vulgar manner they have perverted the meaning of “born again.” Indeed, the very word verb is nothing but a noun in sheep’s clothing.

But if nouns verbing and verbs nouning, flaunting their parts of speech in public, isn’t bad enough, they are practically pillars of the community compared with prepositions. Against logic and decency, against family values, against all strictures of learned moralists, they persist in leaving their homes as heads of prepositional phrases and going out to the ends of sentences, there to shed the responsibilities they were born with (please not, with!).

And what is worse, as they hang out (no way, out!) on the equivalent
of inner-city street corners, they freely throw off (stop it, off!) their proper part of speech and hook up (no, up!) with verbs, earning the scarlet label of adverb. Easy virtue—a preposition propositions a verb and off it goes as an adverb, leaving the faithful phrase behind. Up, down, in, out, over, off, on—have you no shame?

What can be done?

Let us be inspired by a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution, the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment, that declares, “Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman.” Why bother with that? To maintain family values, what we really need is a constitutional amendment that states, “Prepositions in the United States shall be used only before the phrases to which they belong and shall not transform into adverbs.”

Are you with me, moralists? Let’s lobby our congresspeople to send this amendment to the states, to restore the purity and wholesomeness of the language we inherited from the corrupt Brits.

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