Although it is difficult to say why the construction developed in Middle English, or why it revived so powerfully in Modern English, a number of theories have been postulated. Most publications and writers simply seem to go with what sounds better—"to go boldly where no man has gone before" just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? TNG to boldly go where no man has gone before? Finally, there is a construction with a word or words between to and an infinitive that nevertheless is not considered a split infinitive, namely, infinitives joined by a conjunction. He gives as an instance, "to scientifically illustrate". If I say, “It is nice to know more than you” then “to know” is the infinitive of the verb know. No other grammatical issue has so divided English speakers since the split infinitive was declared to be a solecism in the 19c [19th century]: raise the subject of English usage in any conversation today and it is sure to be mentioned. The opening sequence of the Star Trek television series contains a well-known example, where William Shatner says "to boldly go where no man has gone before"; the adverb boldly is said to split the to-infinitive phrase, to go. Fowler (1926) stressed that, if a sentence is to be rewritten to remove a split infinitive, this must be done without compromising the language: It is of no avail merely to fling oneself desperately out of temptation; one must so do it that no traces of the struggle remain; that is, sentences must be thoroughly remodeled instead of having a word lifted from its original place & dumped elsewhere …, In some cases, moving the adverbial creates an ungrammatical sentence or changes the meaning. But now they have been proven wrong! The concept of a two-word infinitive can reinforce an intuitive sense that the two words belong together. In 1996, the usage panel of The American Heritage Book was evenly divided for and against such sentences as, but more than three-quarters of the panel rejected, Here the problem appears to be the breaking up of the verbal phrase to be seeking a plan to relieve: a segment of the head verbal phrase is so far removed from the remainder that the listener or reader must expend greater effort to understand the sentence.  Merriam–Webster's Dictionary of English Usage says: "the objection to the split infinitive has never had a rational basis". How have they done that? While most authorities accept split infinitives in general, it is not hard to construct an example which any native speaker would reject. In Middle English, the bare infinitive and the gerund coalesced into the same form ending in -(e)n (e.g. , Post-1960 authorities show a strong tendency to accept the split infinitive. , However, the two-part infinitive is disputed, and some linguists say that the infinitive in English is a single-word verb form, which may or may not be preceded by the particle to. When the starship Enterprise set off on its five-year voyage in 1964 (or the 23rd century, but who's counting?) How on earth can they tell? "It is exceedingly difficult to find any authority who condemns the split infinitive—Theodore Bernstein, H. W. Fowler, Ernest Gowers, Eric Partridge, Rudolph Flesch, Wilson Follett, Roy H. Copperud, and others too tedious to enumerate here all agree that there is no logical reason not to split an infinitive. tō cumenne = "coming, to come").. A famous example is To boldly go where no man has gone … Those grammarians … The construction still renders disagreement, but modern English usage guides have dropped the objection to it.  "Splitting the infinitive" is slightly older, back to 1887. To boldly go where no man has gone before. The Victorians …  R. W. Burchfield's revision of Fowler's Modern English Usage goes farther (quoting Burchfield's own 1981 book The Spoken Word): "Avoid splitting infinitives whenever possible, but do not suffer undue remorse if a split infinitive is unavoidable for the completion of a sentence already begun. In 1840, Richard Taylor also condemned split infinitives as a "disagreeable affectation", and in 1859, Solomon Barrett, Jr., called them "a common fault". The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Writers who avoid splitting infinitives either place the splitting element elsewhere in the sentence or reformulate the sentence, perhaps rephrasing it without an infinitive and thus avoiding the issue. And, when we have already a choice between two forms of expression, "scientifically to illustrate" and "to illustrate scientifically", there seems no good reason for flying in the face of common usage. But surely split infinitives don’t stop being mistakes just because more people use them? Traditional grammarians have suggested that the construction appeared because people frequently place adverbs before finite verbs. With William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Gary Lockwood, Sally Kellerman. " Heffernan and Lincoln, in their modern English composition textbook, agree with the above authors. Now, researchers says, there is good reason to consign the rule to history, Last modified on Tue 19 Jun 2018 12.19 BST.  Likewise, the Oxford Dictionaries do not regard the split infinitive as ungrammatical, but on balance consider it likely to produce a weak style and advise against its use for formal correspondence. In an example drawn from the British National Corpus the use of to not be against not to be is only 0.35% (from a total of 3121 sampled usages). R. L. Trask uses this example:. Henry Alford, in his Plea for the Queen's English in 1864 went further, stating that use of the "split infinitive" was "a practice entirely unknown to English speakers and writers". Wycliff's Middle English compound split would, if transferred to modern English, be regarded by most people as un-English: Attempts to define the boundaries of normality are controversial. The argument would be that the construction should be avoided because it is not found in the classics. George Bernard Shaw wrote letters to newspapers supporting writers who used the split infinitive and Raymond Chandler complained to the editor of The Atlantic about a proofreader who interfered with Chandler's split infinitives: By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. Would be that the split-infinitive prohibition is based on Latin all three be. ” exactly system, the adverb `` boldly '' splits the full ``! Degree of passion which the bare infinitive ( e.g thus the natural position for adverb. 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