Category Archives: Writers’ Editing Workshop

From my old site,

Remember to always split infinitives.

Remember to always split infinitives.

Well, ok, not always. But often. Whenever it works.

We have this handed-down wisdom that says an infinitive, a verb of the “to form” — to walk, to amble, to mosey — must always be preserved intact. Rules like this cripple writing. Even the esteemed editors of the Chicago Manual of Style agree with me.

In this day and age, it seems, an injunction against splitting infinitives is one of those shibboleths whose only reason for survival is to give increased meaning to the lives of those who can both identify by name a discrete grammatical, syntactic, or orthographic entity and notice when that entity has been somehow besmirched. — Chicago Manual Q&A

Concern yourself first with clarity and a pleasing sound. We do need grammar rules, but only when they help us achieve those things. When they get in the way, they should be ignored.