1. Don't end a sentence with a preposition.
2. Don't split an infinitive (a rule carried over from Latin, and which doesn't apply to English).
3. And never begin a sentence with the word "and."
By "proper English" I always mean proper English, as it is defined by usage among good, fluent speakers of English, who can write good literary English. There are several English Bible versions which have been produced in recent years which use English which I find painful to read. It breaks so many of the normal usage rules of English. Our English Bibles would be so much more effective if they only used English which followed actual English usage grammatical and semantic rules, not syntax or word combinations which are imported from the original biblical languages. We can leave the latter kind of English for interlinear translations of the Bible. For real translations, let's have real English!
Some of you might like to visit the languagehat blog sometimes. It has been in my Linguablogs blogroll for a long time, and you can also get to it by clicking on the title to this blog post.
Categories: Bible translation, linguistics, prescriptive, proper English