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Robert, I salute you for your excellent choice. To pack ... a height to which I aspire, but so rarely reach.

Too bad: he didn't even originate that usage. It was Fowler.

Absolutely right. I stole it from Fowler. I chose to use the same word to mean the same thing.
I guess Fowler's a moron, too.
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It is entirely a matter of "proper behaviour". Do you refrain from urinating at the altar of your church? Do ... are brought up properly don't urinate at the altar and don't split infinitives. It's simply a mark of good upbringing.

How quaint! As it happens, outside Germany we don't urinate on altars either, but we *do* split infinitives. Who would have thought that our cultures would differ so?
Lyall Morrison
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Too bad: he didn't even originate that usage. It was Fowler.

Absolutely right. I stole it from Fowler. I chose to use the same word to mean the same thing. I guess Fowler's a moron, too.

There I go, displaying my lack of book learnin'. At least I will know how to attribute it when I steal the usage at the next available opportunity!
Lyall Morrison
Too bad: he didn't even originate that usage. It was Fowler.

Absolutely right. I stole it from Fowler. I chose to use the same word to mean the same thing. I guess Fowler's a moron, too.

In this case, let's say he was 'nodding'. Using 'superstition' in the context of usage is simply silly.
"Ask them to please sit down". WRONG

It certainly is not wrong. In fact, this construction is the only way to express the exact meaning that it carries.

How so?
In the two obvious alternatives: Ask them, please, to sit down. Ask them to sit down please. the "please" appears ... poli=te request to ask some people to sit down, rather than a request to ask them politely to do so.

"Please, sit down" is the direct quote one wouuld utter to the guests. If you ask someone else to do it, you say "please ask them to sit down", in which case the 'please' is directed to the intermediary. The 'please' cannot be 'transferred' as it were thriough the intermediary. It is up to him to do that, and if he is a good butler or secretary, he will know enough to say "please sit down" on his own. But perhaps you are unfamiliar with polite society.
It is precisely because one can make this distinction in English that it =is so powerful and flexible a language (on the tongues of thoughtful speakers). To attempt to proscribe such usage is to hamstring the language and that does good service to no=F6ne.

But 'please' is a verb. "To please" means to do what someone wishes. Uttering 'please' before a request is an idiom. The 'please' is short for "if you please". It was also used with 'to' formerly, as quoted in W3NI:
As an intransitive verb:
"3: archaic : to have the pleasure or kindness stranger, please to taste these bounties John Milton* *will you please to enter the carriage Charles Dickens"
Also, as a transitive verb:
"3 : to be the will or pleasure of used impersonally many boys, please God, will make the venture J.H.Wilson* *may it please your Majesty"
As many niceties of language are lost, we forget what part the remnants played in the whole. May people don't know how 'please' was used in the past, and thus misuse it.
I think most careful writers would agree that they tend to avoid split infinitives not because they are wrong, ... nor does it mean that they are never the be=st construction to use just that there are usually better.

Always better.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
One of us clearly doesn't. A split infinitive is a ... between them. I'm sorry if this offends your delicate sensibilities.

It just happens to be 'wrong'.

Indeed. Remind me which stone tablet that was engraved upon?
Do you also object to the 'ne ... pas' construction in French?

I know nothing about F , and plan never to learn. F is corrupt. F wines suck, the F people are dolts, and the F government is made up of a bunch of cowards.

That's certainly a pity considering how much of the English language was acquired by way of French. You really are missing out.

UC disgorged in another branch of this thread:
What German does is irrelevant.

Why? The construction "zu + infinitive" is EXACTLY the same as in English.

Clearly it is not, or you would not need to so doggedly and artlessly prosecute your crusade against split infinitives. You assert without support that "zu + infinitive" in German should be considered the model and rule for infinitives in English. Like others who hold strong religions beliefs, you clearly consider this a matter of faith and will not be swayed by mere evidence or logic, so I see no profit in discussing it further.
Lyall Morrison
It is the corresponding construction, used in exactly the same way. Why do you doubt this?
Not to mention "often" and "interesting"? Ever hear anyone pronounce the latter with four full syllables?

I do.

John Varela
Trade NEW lamps for OLD for email.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
First, there is a trend towards saying "the guy that wrote it..." when "who" is correct.

That is not so, twice. First, the use of "who" for "that" is relatively new in English check the King James ... such folk as Walt Whitman and Mark Twain (those are all examples that fell into hand from a single source).

I was brought up short this morning when dear Miss Manners wrote, "Keep them away from people whom they might embarrass." I would use "that" there.

John Varela
Trade NEW lamps for OLD for email.
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