I read a sentence in Word by Word by Kory Stamper which was:

If you ask a modern adherent to this rule why, exactly, you aren't supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, they merely goggle at you as if you had just asked why you aren't supposed to lick electrical sockets. Because it is objectively better not to, that's why.

The fact that the "objectively better" part is italicised as well as answer both the above mentioned questions makes me think that the author is making a pun here. Regarding the latter question, I think the word "objective" means "based on experience and facts" and regarding the former question, I think it somewhat relates to the "objective case" we learn in grammar. But I am still not sure. Am I right?

1 Answer 1


My understanding is this. An object normally comes after a preposition. Therefore the pun is where do you put the object if the preposition is at the end. "Because it is objectively better not to"

Explanation. A preposition can be understood as anywhere a dog can be in relation to its doghouse. A dog can be: in the doghouse around the doghouse near the doghouse on the doghouse. All of these preposition examples show where the dog is in relation to its doghouse (The Object).

The second to pun is to object to, (dislike) licking Electrical sockets

objectenter link description here 1 verb [ I ] UK ​ /əbˈdʒekt/ US ​ /əbˈdʒekt/ ​to feel or express opposition to or dislike of something or someone:

  • Sorry I did not answer the second question as I was concentrating on the English not the humour. My bad. I have edited the answer now.
    – Brad
    Jul 27, 2019 at 10:30

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