Monday, October 12, 2009

swat, or not swat? Or, swat at?

Does anyone out there re-read emails they sent? I do. It has come to my realisation lately how careless the spelling, and unclear the structure of sentences sometimes are in the emails I write. Example: in a message sent to a friend I found this:

"And I knew full well it's too late for me to forget you - you are a tail too sticky to shake off, a pest too adorable to swat."

Well, shouldn't that last bit be "too adorable to swat at"? I mean, without at, the words seem to say

"You are a pest who is so adorable that you would not swat."

Which in turn could imply something like "You are such a doll that you wouldn't even think of swating, hmm, anything." When in fact what I meant originally was that my friend was so adorable a pest that I didn't have the heart to swat her. Or should that really be "to swat at her"?

Ugh, the ever pesty prepostions in English.


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