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Thursday, September 11, 2008

When to Avoid the Dreaded Split Infinitive

Oh, those dreaded split infinitives! It turns out that they aren't so bad, regardless of what Miss Wilson said in the fourth grade, Miss White in the eighth, and Miss Jones when I was a junior in high school. My Grammar Pal, June Casagrande (author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies) reminds me that Fowler of Elements of Style fame says, "Some infinitives seem to improve on being split, just as a stick of round stovewood does." He gives the example "I cannot bring myself to really like the fellow." The infinitive "to like" does not much suffer from having "really" interfere with the tight-knit infinitive club. So, advice from here? Watch split infinitives. Make your choices. But when it comes to splitting one before the eyes of a publisher or agent, take the safer path. Choose another way of saying what you want to say. No point in letting something like a split infinitive get in the way of getting published.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978515870. Learn more about her other authors' aids at www.howtodoitfrugally.com. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you EVER respond to your blogger posts? I give up. Your site is just a waste of time. Buh-bye. I'm mov'in on.

:)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah....

YAWN.................

Youre right, she never does answer her blogs, so why the fan base for her freakin book? or the awards...

Come to think about it, the author probably doesn't even write these posts. She probably has some associate do them....

I'm so glad I returned my book.

Anonymous said...

You're right anonymous #1 and #2. This book is over-rated. Bobbie Christmas's book rules!!! Personally, I think she copied off from it. A friend of mine had Frugal Editor which I read and then I saw these blog posts about Bobby's book and said Wow!!!

Let the truth be told...
CHJ, I really think you need to jump in here and say something to avoid all this bad publicity. Maybe you should revamp your book. At first, I liked your book. Its very promising with the info you do provide. But in comparison to Christmas's book, you book seems to be very lacking now. I'm sure B. Christmas can offer you a helping hand (just as long as you give her credit)! I wish you luck and some piece of friendly advice. Before you go writing other Frugal books, you really need to revamp this one.

Toodles.

H.M from Florida

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