“To boldly go…” into a split infinitive?


I’m attempting to finish several writing projects this week before I break for Christmas. I have numerous edits to a scripture and counseling article that I expect will be published sometime next year. I’ve got a couple of shorter essays as well. As I edit my work I am confronted, repeatedly, with the sad fact that I haven’t a clue about good grammar. I’m a fan of contractions. I, love, commas, and, parenthetical comments (don’t you?). Apparently, editors do not. They also eschew dangling participles (“When counselors give in to the temptation…, it leads to…” Doesn’t everyone know who the “it refers to?”) 

But, I’m taking solace in Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue. He tells me that it’s not a sin to split infinitives. Some wacko in the 1800s decided it was a bad idea and now we’re stuck with it. And since Star Trek writers realized that it was stupid to say, “To go boldly where no man…”, I’m going to confidently split an infinitive today. Um, besides that one.

1 Comment

Filed under writing

One response to ““To boldly go…” into a split infinitive?

  1. Terri

    Everyone’s too intimidated to comment. We’ve long ago forgotten what a split infinitive or a dangling participle is. (Did I just split or dangle anything?…Am I speaking parenthetically?)

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