1 4 5 6  8 9 10 14
For me, nothing can be uglier than the awkward word ... in its natural place, between a "to" and its infinitive.

UC wrote
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.End of quote

There is an implied difference of meaning between:-
1. He decided to quickly mend the kettle before setting off to work.
2. He decided to mend the kettle quickly before setting off to work.

The first implies a deliberate botch repair, designed for speed not quality. The second implies that he had everything he needed for the job, and thought it would take only a minute or two to do the repair properly.

When the English language offers you the opportunity to express yourself more clearly and precisely by means of this distinction, why do you refuse that opportunity by adhering to such an artificial and non-existent rule? The "rule" is little more than just a psychological hang-up.

Furthermore, version 2 separates the verb (mend) and the adverb (quickly), by the intervention of "the kettle". While this is usually tolerable, it might not be ideal in a longer sentence.
I am an instinctive speaker of English. I have sufficient confidence in my education to believe that if it sounds alright to me, then it is alright. But I cannot quote the grammatical rules by which I sometimes work. This is illustrated well in this discussion on the split infinitive. There are some adverbs that I would never use to split the infinitive. An example is "well", as in:-
He continued to do well at school. (1)
With other adjectives, I am quite likely to split the infinitive, with no conscience whatsoever, but only if I believe that the result more accurately conveys my intended meaning. For example:-
He decided to quickly take the money and run.
Can anybody specify the grammatical rule by which I am subconsciously working here, accepting some opportunities to split the infinitive, but rejecting others?
(1) I have just thought of one. "He attempted to well-satisfy her every demand".
Richard Chambers Leeds UK.
Robert Bannister wrote

My schoolmasters were not bound in hide, although they enjoy ... 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?

It doesn't. The preferable alternative (to my ears) would be:

"Boldly to go where no man has gone before."
I admit I have a hang-up about splitting infinitives - I cannot break the habit of a lifetime, learned many years ago. But I also don't get why Bob Cunningham has his knickers in such a twist about this - no-one who matters gives a stuff if Bob or anyone else "splits an infinitive", and certainly I would not try to make him conform to my particular set of conventions. By the same token, I'm not going to split infinitives irrespective of anything he or any other "guru" might say. I don't care - to my ear, a split infinitive sounds "wrong". Nor do I agree that by adhering to this convention I am stifling good English - I've never found the need to split 'em in 40-odd years of writing English, so why would I start now?
Will.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
"To boldly go were no man has been before." ... any of the alternatives that do not split the infinitive?

It doesn't. The preferable alternative (to my ears) would be: "Boldly to go where no man has gone before."

You now have me worried. Which of the two above versions is the correct one? Both seem to work well.
Richard Chambers Leeds UK.
Most of these are due simply to lack of sufficient ... "to hurry", or "to speed" to name jsut a few.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAH!

Instead of "to quickly go", why not: any of the following?

accelerate, barrel, be quick, make a beeline, bestir, breeze, bullet, burst, bustle, dart, dash, dig in, drive, dust, expedite, flee, flit, fly, fog, glide, goad, haste, hasten, hotfoot, hum, hurry, hurry up, hustle, jog, make haste, make time*, make tracks*, move, nip,pass, push, quicken, race, rip, rocket, roll, run, rush, sally, scamper, scoot, scurry, scuttle,skim, slip, smoke, speed, speed up, spur, tear, tool, urge, waltz, whirl, whish, whisk, whiz, zip
UC wrote

UC wrote

Most of these are due simply to lack of sufficient ... "to hurry", or "to speed" to name jsut a few.

End of quote There is an implied difference of meaning between:- 1. He decided to quickly mend the kettle before setting off to work. 2. He decided to mend the kettle quickly before setting off to work.

Neither is that good.
1. He decided quickly to mend the kettle before setting off to work.(quick decision)

2. He decided to mend the kettle quickly before setting off to work.(quick work)
Eh?
(snip what is irrelevant, incompetent, and immaterial)
When the English language offers you the opportunity to express yourself more clearly and precisely by means of this distinction, why do you refuse that opportunity by adhering to such an artificial and non-existent rule?

How does German do without it?
The "rule" is little more than just a psychological hang-up.

Tell that to the Germans.
Furthermore, version 2 separates the verb (mend) and the adverb (quickly), by the intervention of "the kettle". While this is usually tolerable, it might not be ideal in a longer sentence.

I gave better examples.
I am an instinctive speaker of English. I have sufficient confidence in my education to believe that if it sounds alright to me, then it is alright.

WTF is 'alright'? Did you mean "all right", mayhaps?
But I cannot quote the grammatical rules by which I sometimes work. This is illustrated well in this discussion on ... that the result more accurately conveys my intended meaning. For example:- He decided to quickly take the money and run.

Ha. "He decided to grab the money and run." 'Grab' means "quickly take" but you're apparently too stupid to recall that. Your vocabulary is grossly insufficient, it seems. Can't you retain more than five verbs?
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
No, not exactly the same. German has additional rules, such ... second, except in a question, where it is first, etc.

And do you know how this came about? Interfering grammarians wanted German to look like Latin periods. Before that, English and German word order was very similar.

This is not true. German inherits its main-verb-final syntax direct from Indo-European; Old English had something like it but lost it in the early Middle Ages. The constraint that the inflected verb comes second goes back, I believe, to Northwest Germanic (the common ancestor of English, German, and the Scandinavian languages), and began to be lost in English only in the late Middle Ages.
-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
He decided to quickly take the money and run.

Ha. "He decided to grab the money and run." 'Grab' means "quickly take" but you're apparently too stupid to recall that. Your vocabulary is grossly insufficient, it seems. Can't you retain more than five verbs?

Not all quick-taking is grabbing, a term which implies a snatching motion. If the money is strewn around the room, he might have worked quickly and methodically to gather it up, before doing the runner. "To quickly take" is the correct way of describing such an action in this situation if we do not want to go into full detail.
It is my policy to ignore all ad hominem remarks that I encounter on Usenet. Such remarks do not contribute to the discussion.
Richard Chambers Leeds UK.
UC wrote

Ha. "He decided to grab the money and run." 'Grab' ... insufficient, it seems. Can't you retain more than five verbs?

Not all quick-taking is grabbing, a term which implies a snatching motion.

Well, we could use 'grab' or 'snatch' or any number of verbs that mean "quickly take".
If the money is strewn around the room, he might have worked quickly and methodically to gather it up, before ... correct way of describing such an action in this situation if we do not want to go into full detail.

Since I don't know all the particulars of this imagined event are, I cannot supply a particular verb, but several are available. 'Grab', 'snatch', 'snag', "snap up", "scoop up", etc., depending on the position of the money. "Quickly take" is quite unimaginative and artless.
It is my policy to ignore all ad hominem remarks that I encounter on Usenet. Such remarks do not contribute to the discussion.

Then don't make absurd suggestions.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
"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?

It doesn't. The preferable alternative (to my ears) would be: "Boldly to go where no man has gone before."

Ouch. If I read that, I'd suspect an automatic translator had been used to translate that sentence from the original Hungarian. I certainly wouldn't expect the writer to be a literate native English speaker.
-=Eric
Show more