“Everybody knows drinking or smoking of pregnant women is harmful to the fetus.”

I never thought of drinking or smoking a pregnant woman, so I guess I hadn’t thought about its possible harmfulness one way or the other.

Who is doing the drinking and smoking here, by the way—the fetus? Strange in utero behavior, I must say, especially since getting AT pregnant women to smoke, or to drink, has to be pretty tricky from in there. I doubt that the fetus would try to drink or smoke its OWN pregnant woman….

Or is it someone else? Naturally, in that case, if someone smoked a pregnant woman the fetus would suffer harm. Drinking a pregnant woman would do even more damage to the fetus, since liquefaction would have to be accomplished prior to imbibing.…and eeeuw, I don’t want to think about that any more!

Everybody knows what the writer meant, of course. What a difference a two-letter preposition can make.


About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

One response to ““Everybody knows drinking or smoking of pregnant women is harmful to the fetus.”

  • Mary Jane Schaefer

    Have you ever heard the expression “bored of this” or “bored at this”?
    Hasn’t the usage always been “bored with this” or “by this” ? So, where do these new forms come from? This is a real question. If I’m wrong, please let me know.

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