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News & views

Return of anti-from rant

[18 March 2012] It’s time to revive our popular (if probably doomed) campaign to prevent the pointless use of from in expressions like this in a letter to the Daily Telegraph:

‘Wendy McMullan asks what could be done to prevent her from mislaying her mobile phone.’

See! The author can just omit from without damaging the sense. Nearly always, in expressions that include ‘prevent...from’, ‘forbid...from and ‘stop...from’, the author can delete, omit, excise, obliterate and otherwise commit to oblivion the superfluous from.

Even better, in the ’orrible little sentence above, the author could write it in the active voice as well, eg:

‘Wendy McMullan asks how she can avoid mislaying her mobile phone.’

Zap redundant froms several times a day. It’ll make the world a better place, though not by much. [MC]

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