View Full Version : The Split Infinitive.

Bally Heck
20th Aug 2001, 15:03
A serious question about english grammar.

How does one split an infinitive verb?

Is it incorrect to do so? (Or so to do)

No replies from linguistically challenged colonials please!

Kermit 180
20th Aug 2001, 15:12
Who are you calling a linguistically challenged colonial? I'm not going to tell you the answer now, you SILLY POM.

Kerms :p

20th Aug 2001, 15:14
serious answer:


Bally Heck
20th Aug 2001, 15:22
Sorry Golden. It's colonial :confused:

Tricky Woo
20th Aug 2001, 17:07
I absolutely hate split infinitives. They really are bad English. People really should avoid them.


20th Aug 2001, 18:03
And another thing, as we don our grammatical and syntactical hats - what <does> the red writing at the bottom of this forum mean?

20th Aug 2001, 18:20

GH's website is excellent and complete. And to answer your other question, it is "incorrect to do so" *or* "so to do", since "to do" is the infinitive, and it is not split in either case. "To so do", however, is not correct.


If you can see the red writing at the bottom of the page, it means one of two things: either your thread is not long enough, in which case you should immediately post more responses; or else your finger is stuck on the Page Down key. :D


Charlie Foxtrot India
20th Aug 2001, 18:25
The most famous being "to boldly go.."
The most common "to completely f*ck up"

20th Aug 2001, 18:25
well i don't know
i'm not a cunning linguist :p ;) :D

20th Aug 2001, 23:37
Raptor, it means that, should you be unscrupulous, you may find yourself being used by the press to elicit certain reactions.

Mac the Knife
21st Aug 2001, 00:07
Roger that Kerms. These blerry rooineks are getting too cheeky!

If you're unscrupulous I don't expect you mind what the press uses you for.

'Unscrupulous: adj.; Lacking scruples or principles: conscienceless, ruthless, unconscionable.'

'Scrupulous: adj.; Showing or marked by attentiveness to all aspects or details: careful, fastidious, meticulous, painstaking, punctilious.' But not necessarily moral...

How about, "The press or the unscrupulous may in fact use it to elicit certain reactions."?

Illiterate Boer

21st Aug 2001, 00:14
The drongos are restless tonight... :D

Mac the Knife
21st Aug 2001, 01:15
Hah! Thought he'd bite!

"An enterprising bird, the drongo forages individually on the insects herded out by the movements of other flocking birds. Insects compose 100 percent of a drongo's diet. As one might expect, drongos that tend to associate with larger flocks of other bird species (more than 20 birds) show increased numbers of foraging trips and harvest a larger number of insects in a given time than those associated with smaller flocks. The drongo and the other bird species do not compete for the same food source, so the relationship -- known as a commensal relationship -- is a good one for the drongo. Drongos are considered remarkable for the courage with which they will attack and dive off larger birds."

21st Aug 2001, 01:55
Darn it - I have to confess you got me :cool:

21st Aug 2001, 02:59
Now, to steer back onto course, let's see what one of the most conservative experts says:

Eric Partridge states 'Avoid the split infinitive wherever possible; but if it is the clearest and most natural constructon, use it boldly. The angels are on our side'.

('Usage and abusage', Penguin).

It is often uncomfortable to haul oneself up for a blunder of style, but I have to agree with Partridge that there are occaions on which splitting the infinitive makes the text more manageable; more digestible.

That'll do for me.

21st Aug 2001, 19:00
Well Dingducky, I expect you won't spend your holiday at Lesbos then eh! ;)

21st Aug 2001, 19:21
Which illicit reactions would the press choose from amongst the scrupulous posters?

21st Aug 2001, 21:36
Hi V ;)

Some of the press are in the same scrupulous area, looking at what they write :puke: