The Twilight Report

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to boldly split infinitives where no one has split them before

Mum and Don were helping us prepare the room formerly known as the Library for kiddos arrival yesterday. On the way to Ikea, mum went on a little rant about split infinitives. Years ago I had a friend who was sort of a grammar nerd so I asked her how she felt about split infinitives, expecting hellfire and damnation but she responded with a big shrug. So I did a little research about it and found that the “rule” against split infinitives is more of a guideline used by people who don't realize there isn't any good reason not to boldly split your infinitives. About the most compelling argument in favor of the unsplit infinitive seems to be in Latin you can't split an infinitive because it is a single word. This should be noted I suppose when translating the opening monologue to The Original Series and The Next Generation. I suppose. Although given the pool of native Latin speakers maybe that isn't really a good rationale for a made up “rule” with no factual historical precedent. Mum and I got into a friendly little argument of the sort that we are apt to fall into. The sorts of arguments that we get into are almost always the sort that sharpen our wits rather than leave bad feelings. So that is good. Last night I researched again about split infinitives, and I found a more reasonable argument not to boldly split your infinitives:

The only logical reason to avoid splitting infinitives is that there are still a lot of people who mistakenly think it is wrong. If you write from a position of power, split your infinitives as much as you want. Be guided by the sound and flow of your sentence. On the other hand, if you have to please others or avoid complaints, it’s safer to avoid splitting infinitives. There's no reason to deliberately split infinitives when you know it's going to upset people. — Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Girl on Split Infinitives

Although the same source also argues that sometimes you can't avoid a split infinitive. I am not actually cognizant of how often I in practice split my infinitives in my own writing and speech. I do regardless have a strong opinion on split infinitives apparently.

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