Tag Archives: split infinitive

How to Better Write Letters

This is a copy of a book I accidentally found in the Leiden Free Bookshop the other day. It reminded me of eighteenth-century letter writing manuals, so I picked it up. And very much like Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style, its final … Continue reading

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How careful can you be …

I’m going through the final chapter of Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style (2014) to find out how many old chestnuts he discusses in his overview of usage problems. I’m always hoping to find new chestnuts, so we’ll wait and see. Of … Continue reading

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Even The Guardian …

… has joined us in our interest in prescritpivism. Read all about it here. And that isn’t all: here’s what they published two days later. Keep sending us more of this. (Thanks, Joan!)

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Marilyn French and the split infinitive

I found another one! And once again in a novel by Marilyn French (1929-2009), this time My Summer with George (1996). The novel is situated in 1991 (p. 236), and it is about the dream of an affair in late middle … Continue reading

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Out with whom, in with the split infinitive

One of our blog authors recently tackled the “whom issue”, and it made me wonder if this word is really dying out. Our readers will also remember several posts featuring the split infinitive, the pedants’ pet peeve. I have decided … Continue reading

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Settling the split infinitive differences

Letters to the editor (LTE) sections in historical newspaper databases are rich sources for investigating the language pedants’ pet peeves.  The split infinitive seems to be among the prominent causes for their perpetual discussions. A 1904 article in the Washington … Continue reading

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Far from the madding gerund …

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… is the title of a book by Mark Liberman and Geoffrey K. Pullum, published in 2006.  Based on their blog Language Log, it contains items on English usage but also topics that “might provoke a good laugh or draw … Continue reading

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