Using pronouns and prepositions in their proper order
This certainly is not meant to be a lesson in grammar, but when one listens to the expressions of someone misusing pronouns in a conversation it leaves an impression that questions the person’s ability to convey a topic.
When listening to a reader in church who may use the language in a confusing manner it leaves the listener with a question to the validity of their expertise in bible literature. One way that misses the point is to put emphasis on the text that isn’t the real premise the writer meant when putting the words of scripture on paper. To gain the interest of the audience the words should place them in the presence of the story allowing their mental picture to form a reality of them, like being there with the characters of the story. The most irritating experience is to hear the words that just rattle on without any emphasis on the depth of what the essence of the text is meant to be about.
At times there will be a departure from absolutes when pronouns and their use will have a distinct meaning that makes sense. When Moses asked the Lord what he should tell the Israelites who sent him; God replied, “I Am who am.” Then he added, "This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.” (Ex 3: 14). The use of a pronoun with implicit meaning as to who God is. Another term used regarding Christ: “The Lord was raised from the dead.” Since we speak of God telling Moses that he IS; not Was the Father of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. With God, everything has no past tense, everything is always in the present tense. When we speak of the raising of Christ, it is always in the present tense as well. Christ IS raised.
We were always taught that punctuation is the most critical manner in which to place an emphasis on what was written. Too many readers skip over when to pause at periods, semi-colons, or skip over the exclamation points. If they continue without voicing the reason of the text, especially by expression, its place at the end of a sentence becomes oblivious. One of the obvious reactions to writing can be run-on-sentences. My daughter, who is an English teacher, pointed that out to me early in my writing. Much of St. Paul’s letters do exactly that. The same experience can lead the listener into wondering, “ when does the writer pause or bring to a conclusion this particular point?”
Pronouns should be placed in their proper order as to the person (tense) to whom the text is meant or about. I, We, you, they or them can be improperly placed, usually more in speech than in prose, and become a struggle to keep one’s attention in conversations.
The next figure of speech misplaced in print and verbalized incorrectly are prepositions. They can become too misleading when attempting to authorize a particular point that may change the actual reason for a specific purpose. It may not occur so much in scripture, but within the world of technology it can be disastrous if used improperly.
As a teacher in trade schools, especially with electricity, I became an expert in teaching the National Electrical Code. Herein, there are multiple sections that deal with more than a couple of instances where mixing certain prepositions improperly changes the position of electrical components in regard to safety regulations. Some of these are; “Over as opposed to More than.” As far as safety, another term is the overcurrent protective means for a motor when a technician is working on the equipment, and must be located in sight Of or in sight From. Only the one that says “In sight from” is the acceptable term. This alone can create an injury or death of a technician in his position of repairing electrical components. (Taken from definitions for the electrical code).
Prepositions or pronouns can also become a confusing element within any position of life. It is important that when writing an article for ministry, or a technical paper for industry, the attention of proper use is important enough to learn and incorporate their use properly. When preparing an article in any menu care should be taken to get the information correct and understandable.
Ralph B. Hathaway