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Don’t believe the myths

Don’t believe the myths

This writing tip is based on one of our mantras: don’t believe the myths.

A lot of so-called grammar rules are actually fusty old school rules that aimed to homogenise the English language. (Usually enforced with a cane.)

An example: don’t split infinitives.

This still hangs around like a dusty cobweb. For those that don’t know or remember, putting ‘to’ in front of a verb creates an infinitive, like these: ‘to go’, ‘to eat’, ‘to run’.

Any word that is put in between ‘to’ and that verb is said to split the infinitive.

The no-splitting rule was invented by 19th century grammarians who wanted the English language to imitate Latin. That should be reason enough to ignore it.

To fully understand the problem’, ‘to hastily follow‘ and the classic ‘to boldly go‘, are classic examples of split infinitives.

It doesn’t mean, though, that you should always split your infinitives. But if what you want to say sounds better with a split infinitive, then go ahead and split.