Re: splitting words (was Re: BIOTERRORISM: Our heads in the sand...)

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Mon Oct 22 2001 - 12:20:56 MDT

> From: Spike Jones <>, Sat, 20 Oct 2001 16:59:43
> >ps Mike, thanks for the correct use of "a whole other story" in
> > your previous post. So many otherwise grammatically perfect
> > speakers will say "a whole nother story" which for some reason
> > makes me crazy. A split infinitive is bad enough, but many
> > split the word "another" to insert the word "whole." {8-[ s

90% of what your high school English teacher told you is wrong.

"A whole 'nother" is pretty grating on my ear too, but there's not
really any such thing as a "split infinitive" in English; that's one of
those silly rules that came into vogue in the 1800s when snobby scholars
were trying to impose Latin grammar upon English, a Germanic language.
English doesn't really have "infinitives" the way Latin does; it has
auxilliaries, and putting words between an auxilliary and its verb is
perfectly normal, understandable, English. "To boldy go" is only
wrong in the minds of Latin pedants, and those who blindly followed
them without taking the time to understand the roots of the language.

The same trend produced other rules like not putting prepositions at
the end of a sentence (impossible in Latin, but completely normal in
German, e.g. "Ich komme mit"), "It is I" (again correct Latin, but lousy
English), and other nonsense.

So if you say "It was me that Mary chose to finally go with", you are
speaking perfect unassailable English, with the added benefit of
annoying the hell out of those whose false erudition comes from
memorizing rules instead of actually learning and thinking.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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