22 responses

  1. We Jews don’t normally have epitaphs, but I know how I want my obit to be headed: “Steadfast foe of split infinitives.”

  2. Jon,

    Why am I hearing Fiddler on the Roof and “Tradition?”

    By the way, I hate split infinitives too, although I have never encountered one.

    All the best.

    Addendum: To happily write is the best labor of all.


  3. A bit of ethnic stereotyping, perhaps?

    I know you have encountered split infinitives, because you cite frequently to the New York Times. The people who write for that otherwise estimable paper seem to reach out to use them.

    The greatest problem with split infinitives is not that they are ungrammatical (although they are), but that they are bad writing. Take the most famous of them: “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Much, much weaker than “To go boldly where no man has gone before.”

  4. No such thing as a split infinitive. Take, for instance, the Judge’s example above: To happily write. Some might argue that that there is a split, but they’re misunderstanding the subtlety of the Judge’s profanity.

    The verb is not “write,” as modified by “happily.” No, the verb is “happily write,” an entirely different jar of quills from “write” or doing anything merely “happily.”

    And of course the NYT would never split an infinitive, any more than it would cause the rest of us to split logs from reading its…writing. No, it uses carefully crafted specialist verbs.


    Eric Hines

  5. Anon.,

    No. It wasn’t frozen pizza. It was add for hot pizza from Pizza Hut–I think.

    All the best.


  6. I saw one once on a gravestone from the 1700’s here in New England that read:

    I now know more than the wisest among you.

  7. Oh, no,offense taken. But I had to live up,to my motto: Never let the easy ones go by.

  8. Billikin,

    Sorry for the late reply.

    I don’t why, but your example caused me to laugh out loud. Thanks, I needed it.

    Speaking of hypochondriacs, see my post this morning.

    All the best.


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