Thursday, 19 February 2009

Minding your prepositions

Today, I dropped in at my favourite butcher’s shop, in the suburb where we used to live. As I walked through the door, I noticed a serious difference. The walls had all been repainted, there was a much bigger selection of meat, and generally the place looked spruced up and more modern.
Imagine my surprise when the chap who came in to serve me was my butcher from the suburb where I now live.
“Aren’t you the butcher from T?” I asked.
He laughed “That’s me – I’ve just bought the place, but Bernie is staying on as Master Butcher.”
I am pleased for Bernie, as he looked a bit strained the last time I visited. Now he can enjoy his trade, without all the hassles of running the business too.
It was only as I left that I realised how important prepositions are. I am so relieved that I didn’t accidentally use the word “of” instead of “from”. It would have converted a perfectly nice Kiwi bloke into a mass murderer.
Use the proposition “of” and you have the perpetrator of a war crime; “The Butcher of Belgrade/Belsen” etc.
Thankfully “from” easily came from my lips and the worst crime the new occupant can be accused of is making sausages containing ginger.

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