Monday, July 20, 2015

Re-Post: Splitting Infinitives

To Boldly Go!

This was originally posted on Sunday August 18, 2013. This was a good point that I wanted to share again.

 Have you had a grammar lesson lately?

I was doing a little reading this morning and discovered I have a bad habit. I like to split infinitives. What it that? Infinitives are words starting with to, for example-. To go, to run, to walk. When you split them, you generally add an adverb between the to and the word-to boldly go, to quickly run, to slowly walk. The most famous one comes from Star Trek, To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.

Over time, the rules bend and change about grammar. Originally, English rules were taken from those of Latin. And since an infinitive was not split in Latin, it was carried over into English. That was then, and this is now. To see an infinitive split in writing and not be edited out shows evolution of the English language. We are more accepting of how we use our language.

I'm not an expert on grammar. I don't have a degree in English, nor do I pretend to have some extensive research done on the subject. But I spend a portion of each day as most of you do, hammering out those sentences that create our stories. This counts for something, I hope. And my belief is that we need to create the most exciting, emotional experience for our readers that we can. And if it means to split a few infinitives along the way, I only hope they don't get eliminated when they reach the editor's pen.

Do you split infinitives? Does it matter to you? Do you see grammar rules changing? 


  1. Do you split infinitives?
    -Didn't even know what the critter was until you explained it. So I'm SURE I do.

    Does it matter to you?

    Do you see grammar rules changing?
    -Yep. At least on the many blogs I've read. The writing rules for blogs seem to be "loosey goosey". Which is a good thing, or mine would have flunked out long ago. In books I've read, it seems the "old" rules still apply. Am I wrong there??

  2. Retta: You answered my questions like I expected any writer to. I still think I'd enjoy reading anything you wrote!