Split Infinitives by K J Rollinson

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One of the comments of a colleague on ‘LinkedIn’ inspired me to write this week’s blog.

Most of us were taught (if we were taught grammar at all) never to split infinitives. When you split an infinitive, you put something (usually an adverb) between the two parts: the well-known example which occurred in the opening sequence of Star Trek television series: “to boldly go where no man has gone before”.

A split infinitive is still the subject of disagreement among English speakers as to whether it is grammatically correct or good style. No other grammatical issue has so divided English speakers since the split infinitive was introduced in the 19th century. However, most modern English usage guides have dropped the objection to the split infinitive. They agree there is no justification to avoid a split infinitive. But sometimes, a split infinitive sounds clumsy. It can also change the emphasis of…

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