ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Why It's OK to Sometimes Split Infinitives in Papers

I have on occasion split the infinitive and one should never do that. Yet it’s hard to remember what is so bad about splitting infinitives, except that it offends those people who had their grammar belted into them and never dared to ask questions. You should certainly not ignore the rules of style in favor of expediency, but there are situations where only a split infinitive gives the right emphasis. "Write down key words or short sentences as they come to mind. "Arrange the keys in

Wolf Seufert
I have on occasion split the infinitive and one should never do that. Yet it’s hard to remember what is so bad about splitting infinitives, except that it offends those people who had their grammar belted into them and never dared to ask questions. You should certainly not ignore the rules of style in favor of expediency, but there are situations where only a split infinitive gives the right emphasis.

"Write down key words or short sentences as they come to mind.

"Arrange the keys in logical order.

"Write a single concise sentence defining each key. If you can‘t, you may be working on more than one key. Break the thought into two or more keys and try again.

"Link the sentences together logically with one additional sentence. If it takes more than one additional sentence to link two key sentences, you’ve failed. Go back to the beginning and repeat...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT