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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordworking: I is for Infinitives

Infinitives: to split or not to split.
First: what is an infinitive?
 To run
To walk
To stalk
To talk
To hum
To drum
To eat
To meet
To seat

According to Grammar Girl, the goddess for this month's A to Z challenge, it is technically okay to split an infinitive by putting and adverb in between the to and the verb, but we should still avoid it as long as it doesn't change the meaning of the sentence.

To jauntily shake it is now approved. (As is to merrily dance, to snottily snort, and to speedily drive) But I'll continue to play it safe and to shake jauntily (to dance merrily, to snort snottily, and to drive speedily). What's your opinion on the split infinitive? To read Grammar Girl's detailed explanation, click here.

If I got anything wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments. If you're doing the A to Z challenge let me know and I'll come check it out.

Write On:D

15 comments:

  1. Good to know this is okay to do. Though of course people say to get rid of those ly words. Thanks for all the grammar tips. I could use them.

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    1. True. I'm all for cutting -ly words, but there is something freeing about knowing that it's okay to split infinitives (maybe the idea that I have one less grammar rule to conquer)

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  2. What? Splitting and infinitive is okay? Somebody better go tell Word, because he always marks it as wrong. :)

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    1. Yup, Word and many editors are still on the traditional track, but it's just as well, since it keeps us from using adverbs:)

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  3. To stalk; an infinitive I know way too much about...lol.

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    1. lol! You always make me laugh:D

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  4. But then there's those ly words that appear. Ugh.

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  5. I was reading an interesting article about the whole splitting infinitives thing not too long ago, and it said, basically, that the whole "you shouldn't split infinitives" thing is wrong linguistically for us. Some dude a few hundred years ago realized they never split infinitives in Latin so we shouldn't either and declared it wrong even though, prior to that, English had always chosen to split. The thing is, you can't split an infinitive in Latin, because it's -one word-. All of that to say that I am, now, definitely on the "to split" side.

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    1. Yup, that's what I learned from Grammar Girl. Interesting how decisions like that are name. "well if it doesn't work in Latin ..."

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  6. I love your Star trek reference and humorous cartoon examples - perhaps if my grammar teachers were as entertaining, I would have come away with more knowledge on the subject *shakes head at public education system* I'll be sure to check back during the challenge for more laughs and lessons:)
    Cheers!
    Sam

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  7. Star trek classic, love it! I have to admit, I've heard of split infinities, but didn't have a clue as to what they were. Good to know. Plus I love Grammar Girl. She's saved me on more than one occasion.

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    1. Yay for Grammar Girl. She has a cape and everything:D She's like Word Girl for grown-ups.

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  8. I avoid averbs at all costs, lol.

    Even though that awesome Star Trek quote uses one...

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  9. I actually can't think of a time that I've used a split infinitive. It just feels awkward.
    p.s. That cartoon is pure genius!

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  10. yeah I avoid these too, unless it's a character style.

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