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For me, nothing can be uglier than the awkward ... 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.

What about the famous "to boldly go"?

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
http://www.geocities.com/opus731/
I am an instinctive speaker of English. I have sufficient ... if it sounds alright to me, then it is alright.

WTF is 'alright'? Did you mean "all right", mayhaps?

Maybe he didn't mean that it was all right (completely correct) just alright (close enough for government work). There are quite a few who make that distinction.
This has been discussed at length in AUE on more than one occasion. It may not be recommended formal usage, but it is certainly not a rare one. There are usage notes about it in both M-W Online and AHD4.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
http://www.geocities.com/opus731/
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What about the famous "to boldly go"?

Henry Cho tells about his friend Jonly(1) asking "So when are they gonna get to Boldligo? They always saying that's where they're going, but they never get there."
(1) Born "J.B.", but when he applied for his driver's license ...

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >Of course, over the first 10^-10
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >seconds and 10^-30 cubicPalo Alto, CA 94304 >centimeters it averages out to

(650)857-7572 > Philip Morrison

http://www.kirshenbaum.net /
"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."

For one interpretation of this wording (I do not necessarily agree with all of it, and like everything else on the internet, it is only one man's personal opinion), see:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:The Literate Engineer then scroll approximately half way down the page to the section entitled "Some thoughts on grammar".
I found this webpage in the course of trying to discover for myself whether the authentic version of the quote was "to boldly go" or "boldly to go". It is the former, the version that splits the infinitive. Not that that proves anything about good grammatic practice.
Richard Chambers Leeds UK
It doesn't. The preferable alternative (to my ears) would be: "Boldly to go where no man has gone before."

Why not simply:
"Its five-year mission: Boldly go where no man has gone before" ?
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No I didn't.
Why not simply: "Its five-year mission: Boldly go where no man has gone before" ?

Because it sounds like you forgot something? Like, say, the word 'to'? Seriously, UC, leave English grammar to those of us who know it, okay?
-=Eric
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.

Mostly, these are sentence structures that were ill-chosen in the first place. I agree that some writers, for obscure reasons, do place adverbs awkwardly in front of the "to", but in most examples I have seen, the adverb fits perfectly naturally later in the phrase. I believe that, somme time back, you presented some good examples where the split is difficult to avoid, at least using the same construction, but rephrasing is usually possible, if not desirable.

Rob Bannister
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 ... he needed for the job, and thought it would take only a minute or two to do the repair properly.

Hmm. I think you're reading a lot more into that than most readers would.
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.

Agreed, if you think it is a rule. I think it is just a stylistic guideline that works most of the time, and I still remain to be convinced that anything is gained by "to quickly mend".
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.

True, although it would have be a great deal longer than that.
I am an instinctive speaker of English. I have sufficient confidence in my education to believe that if it sounds ... the grammatical rule by which I am subconsciously working here, accepting some opportunities to split the infinitive, but rejecting others?

Taste and style.
(1) I have just thought of one. "He attempted to well-satisfy her every demand".

I'm not sure that this qualifies as a split. It looks more like a nonce verb to me.

Rob Bannister
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UC wrote UC wrote End of quote There is an ... 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)

I am not at all happy with your first sentence, which, to my mind, fits too easily into Mr Cunningham's ugly sentence category. I would have said, "He quickly decided to mend the kettle...". Of course, one could break the sentence: "He decided, quite on the spur of the moment, to mend the kettle...".

Rob Bannister
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