to bodly go where every copywriter goes

i am certain that split infinitives will haunt me til my dying day. i can’t decide if i should be a nazi and get rid of them or just let them be. of course, i’m pretty sure i’m the only one here who even knows or cares about them.

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10 Comments

  1. alie 25.Feb.03 at 10:05 am

    IS IT JUST..whoa, I yelling.. sorry. is it just me or does your layout look funny? it looked fine yesterday when you first had it up, but now the log section is way down below your sidebar so there’s a big blank space. hmm.

  2. jodi 25.Feb.03 at 10:56 am

    despite my promises and because i was getting some help, i was monkeying around with the stylesheet. it should be better now.

  3. Thomas 25.Feb.03 at 11:06 am

    Split infinitives are a thorn in my side as well. I seem to never get used to them.

    (You have NO idea how painful writing that sentence was. I had to re-write it three times because I was putting the “never” before “seem”, as it should be written.)

    Unfortunately, we live in a society prone their usage. Perhaps by allowing them to continue, we are like the Romans who saw their beautiful language being perverted into French, Italian and Spanish, but sadly couldn’t teach the rabble quickly enough before the barbarians finally laid their empire to ruin.

    Thankfully, this isn’t as dire a situation as Burnt Sienna is facing. I’m just glad there isn’t a poor girl burn-victim named Sienna driving the crayon extinction. We don’t need THAT kind of opposion…

  4. Natalie 25.Feb.03 at 11:19 am

    Well, you know, the idea that one cannot split an infinitive is very, um, Latinate. In that the rule arises from grammatical rules present in Latin and the languages that came from it. In those language, it is literally impossible to split the infinitive, as it is a single word. In English, though, it’s two, and therefore, splittable.

    This isn’t to say that I think everyone should run about splitting infinitives with impunity, but sometimes it can be done to great effect.

    “To boldly go where no one has gone before” sounds much more active and robust than “To go boldly where no one has gone before”. At least I think it does.

    I wonder if there is a history of the grammar of the English language? And if there isn’t, there should be. I know there are histories of the vocabulary of English, but are there any of the structure and how that structure has changed over time?

  5. Christopher 25.Feb.03 at 11:58 am

    Jodi, while it’s commendable that you actually KNOW the definition of “split infinitive,” to actually spend time worrying about it seems counterproductive. According to the many sources I’ve checked (my wife has an MA in English Lit, and our collection probably has a better selection of reference books than the average public library), splitting the infinitive has been acceptable for years. Ultimately, just go with what sounds best.

  6. Thomas 26.Feb.03 at 9:09 am

    Split infinitives acceptable? Perish the thought. I suppose we should just let ALL rules, English or otherwise, go by the wayside as well. First you split the infinitive, then you’ll be adding “supposebly” into the OED, ending up in a verbal baccanal where any gibberish is welcomed.

    Bah!

  7. Jeff 26.Feb.03 at 12:43 pm

    Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

  8. Edge 26.Feb.03 at 2:59 pm

    For someone who doesn’t capitalize, it’s interesting you’d be so concerned with split infinitives.

  9. jodi 26.Feb.03 at 3:08 pm

    well, i have to capitalize at work– they make me. they also don’t let me use semi-made up words like kafafel, wonky, supergenius or other jodi favorites including great gobs, holy hannah and giant donkey balls. also, they make me use the serial comma. see, i’m nothing more than a copy whore?

  10. Edge 26.Feb.03 at 11:28 pm

    But that’s why we love ya!!!