Tag Archives: split infinitives

To split the sweet infinitive

Instead of a word tasting note today, I present, for your entertainment, a video of my poem “To sweetly split the infinitive” from Songs of Love and Grammar. I think you’re going to really like it. 😉

What’s the reason to not do it?

I was wandering around through Twitter, and I read the following tweet from someone called @GrammarMonkeys: “not to participate” — there’s no reason to split that infinitive (others, yes, but not this one)

That’s sort of like saying to a chicken, “There’s no reason to cross that road (other roads, yes, but not this one).” You see, what if the chicken just wants to cross the road? Is there a general rule saying “Don’t cross roads without a special reason to do so”? No, there isn’t.

And is there a rule in English that says “Don’t split infinitives” or even “Don’t split infinitives without a special reason to do so”? Continue reading

When an “error” isn’t

This is the text of a presentation I made to the Toronto branch of the Editors’ Association of Canada, Sept. 24, 2007. Certain parts were sung; you can guess which.

It ain’t necessarily so, no,
it ain’t necessarily so,
the things Strunk and White
want to tell you are right,
it just ain’t necessarily so.

Getting pissed off about grammatical errors is a favourite activity of a surprisingly large portion of English speakers. Continue reading