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Friday, August 10, 2012

Split infinitives - Oxford Dictionaries Online

I comment in another blog post today ("Drafting Legal Language") on a guideline about splitting infinitives. This short article provides additional information and good advice.

Here's my advice in Garbl's Editorial Style Manual:
split infinitives Avoid awkward sentence constructions that split the infinitive forms of a verb, such as to leave or to help, as in this sentence: Try to not awkwardly or incorrectly split infinitives. But splitting infinitives is grammatically correct--and even useful if it helps strengthen the meaning of a sentence by placing the modifier before the word it's modifying: He wanted to really impress the council. Unfortunately, split infinitives can distract some readers who think they're incorrect.
The Oxford article is featured today (Aug. 10) in Garbl's Style: Write Choices -- available at the Editorial Style tab above and by free email subscription.

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