Are infinitives to safely be split?
That is quite a question;
To carefully be considering it
Leads to indigestion –
Should any adverb come to follow ‘to’
Which sets out the manner
In which intended action one should do?
Or, is that a spanner
Thrown into centre of the verbal works
To disrupt the meaning?
‘To badly disrupt it’ – there madness lurks,
To lots need of cleaning!
Modern textbooks are of the opinion
To splits do is all right
(One knows the writer – some worthless minion -
Cannot be very bright!);
Opponents of ‘Grammar Nazis’ blether
They can’t see that the pair
Of the ‘to’ and verb belong together -
So strangely unaware!
Though, once you have acquired better habits,
Know some words break this law -
To rabbit punch is not to punch rabbits –
To fight fist? ‘Fist fight’, more!
But, mostly, splits are to avoided be:
What you would like to say
Which, to formed be, is worded clumsily,
Just put another way!
The opinion I am expressing here is that one should ignore all the dim twits who say it is fine to boldly go splitting infinitives where no man has split before. The ear should tell any person with a reasonable grounding in English that the ‘to’ and the verb are most comfortable when placed together. Language must evolve and develop, but when new usages are reducing comprehension rather than enriching it, the changes should be resisted with vigour.
Employ infinitives, split or unsplit, only when they fit harmoniously, or for deliberate jarring effect. Otherwise, it is best to reword a phrase using a more direct verbal form.
© Colonialist January 2014 (WordPress)