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On 26 Oct 2006 15:10:03 -0700, "Mike Lyle"
I fear that saying that to UC is splitting into the wind.

So you reckon that, to Bob C, the form with "to" is a spit infinitive?

Possibly.
A spit infinitive could be defined as one that

1. is ejected forcibly from the mouthor

2. has a skewer driven right through it.

Or I suppose, both.

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
(1) A nice little split infinitive which I put in just for fun."Either", in this context, is an adverb. Personally, ... who themselves learnt these hidebound rules from an even more hidebound earlier generation of hidebound schoolmasters in hidebound Prep Schools.

My schoolmasters were not bound in hide, although they enjoy handing hidings out. I agree that "either" is another word that I would use between "to" and the verb, although I doubt whether either of us would do the same thing with the following "or". I don't think of this splitting or not as being a rule, but simply a convention. I find anything other than the familiar list of words in that position downright ugly.
Incomplete list: either, just, even, only, never. No -ly adverbs.

Rob Bannister
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However, in Swedish, it is perfectly acceptable to split infinitives. English is more closely related to Swedish so hey, go ahead and split

Well, English and German are both West Germanic, while Swedish is North Germanic, so the closeness of the languages is ... giving examples that highlight cases where English certainly does not follow German rules (word order, Capitalization, spelling, alphabet, and vocabulary),

The word order is a relatively modern invention. Capitalisation or lack of it is another in both English and German; English went one way, German the other. The alphabet is hardly that different, although German tries to have letters for all its sounds, while English makes do with a messy compromise. The vocabulary is very similar with millions of easily recognisable cognates. If that doesn't make German and English somewhat closer than second cousins, I don't know what does, and the argument was purely about "to/zu" + infinitive, not about anything else.

Re. Linz's comment. I did try to learn Swedish once, but that was so long ago, I can't remember a thing. Can you please give us a couple of examples of split infinitives. I don't consider Swedish irrelevant, since the Vikings must have had some influence on our language.

Rob Bannister
I find anything other than the familiar list of words in that position downright ugly.

For me, nothing can be uglier than the awkward word order that's often resorted to to avoid putting an adverb in its natural place, between a "to" and its infinitive.
Well, English and German are both West Germanic, while Swedish ... follow German rules (word order, Capitalization, spelling, alphabet, and vocabulary),

Re. Linz's comment. I did try to learn Swedish once, but that was so long ago, I can't remember a ... examples of split infinitives. I don't consider Swedish irrelevant, since the Vikings must have had some influence on our language.

I do not know Swedish to give you "textbook" examples, but here is one in the wild:
Det är svårt att i ord beskriva* hur mycket som krävs av föraren. It is difficult *to in a word describe how much it demands from (lit. "of") a driver (drivers?).

Alec
St.Petersburg, Russia (30E18 59N56)
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Alec Kojaev skrev:
Re. Linz's comment. I did try to learn Swedish once, ... the Vikings must have had some influence on our language.

I do not know Swedish to give you "textbook" examples, but here is one in the wild: Det är svårt ... av föraren. It is difficult to in a word describe how much it demands from (lit. "of") a driver (drivers?).

"Föraren" (förare + -en) = "the driver".
My schoolmasters were not bound in hide, although they enjoy handing hidings out. I agree that "either" is another word ... the familiar list of words in that position downright ugly. Incomplete list: either, just, even, only, never. No -ly adverbs.

"To boldly go were no man has been before."
Why does this work better than any of the alternatives that do not split the infinitive? To find out why, I think you need to do an unconventional grammatical analysis. In my opinion, the sentence should be analysed in terms of concepts rather than mere words:-
a. "To boldly go" is the action of a man who habitually goes in a markedly bold fashion to the eight corners of the universe. "Boldly go" is a single concept, unifying both travel and simultaneous habitual boldness. To form the infinitive of the verb form of this concept, you simply need to precede it by "to".
b. "To go boldly" is the action of somebody more like you or me. Normally very sensible about where you will, and will not, go to. But on this one occasion, you were abnormally bold and did go on a dangerous journey. The basic concept here is "go", which is subsequently modified by the adverb "boldly". This produces a subtly different meaning from that of (a).

The trouble with the split-infinitive "rule" is that it stifles, for no good reason, any attempt to produce subtle shades of meaning such as this. It impedes, rather than promotes, good writing in English. That is why I say that it is a stifling and hidebound rule.
Richard Chambers Leeds UK.
I find anything other than the familiar list of words in that position downright ugly.

For me, nothing can be uglier than the awkward word order that's often resorted to to avoid putting an adverb in its natural place, between a "to" and its infinitive.

Most of these are due simply to lack of sufficient vocabulary.

"To quickly go" is better expressed by "to hasten', "to hurry", or "to speed" to name jsut a few.
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UC (Email Removed), the basket-maker and weaver, pronounced:
For me, nothing can be uglier than the awkward word ... in its natural place, between a "to" and its infinitive.

Most of these are due simply to lack of sufficient vocabulary. "To quickly go" is better expressed by "to hasten', "to hurry", or "to speed" to name jsut a few.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAH!
"Hasten!"
"Speed!"
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