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Subject:"split" infinitives (was "xxx." or "xxx".) From:Chuck Martin <cmartin -at- SEEKERSOFT -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 19 Sep 1997 11:08:49 -0700
At 08:46 AM 9/19/97 -0400, you wrote:
>BTW: Unlike any other area in life, I tend to be conservative about
>language matters--e.g. I set myself to never split infinitives in tech
>writing because I figure it will only reinforce readers that it's generally
>acceptable. But I don't kid myself--I know this is an arbitrary rule based
>on Latin grammar.
Oooo. I love this one. There's no such thing as "split" infinitive. The
infinitive is the verb itself, without the preceding "to." (One of the many
little nuggets I retained from my Technical Editing calss.)
In fact, there was no such thing in Latin either; infinitives in Latin were
also single words. Where to add adverbs is more a matter of, as Lyn Dupre
woudl say in her book "Bugs in Writing," a matter of "ear." My "harper
Dictionary of Contemporary Usage" calls the split infinitive rule a
As for me, my goal is to boldly split where no one has split before. :)
"You don't look American"
"Everyone looks American, because Americans are from everywhere"
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