[Taxacom] Split infinitives in scientific writing
alec.mcclay at shaw.ca
Fri Nov 8 12:43:50 CST 2013
"Split infinitives" are not a grammatical error in English - "even
quite conservative grammar and usage books agree on this". See this
post from an actual linguist:
At 11:00 AM 08/11/2013, you wrote:
>Split infinitives are a constant sources of problems to my students,
>especially those whose mother tongue is not English. And I must
>confess I also slip up now and again.
>I am busy compiling a list of commonly use split infinitives found
>in scientific/taxonomic writing (that need to be corrected) as a
>hand-out for my students. I would be most grateful to those of you
>that have examples to please send these to me (I will acknowledge
>you in the student hand-out). Maybe do this privately so I don't
>clog up this Listserver with (what is in comparison to other topics)
>a minor thread.
>A split infinitive I come across frequently in student and postgrad
>work is "to scientifically test" which should be "to test
>scientifically". Albeit, Word is now quite good at picking these up.
>Being a "Star Trek" Fan, the most well know split infinitive is of
>course "To boldly go where no one has gone before". Which should be
>"To go boldly where no one has gone before" - but the correct
>version just doesn't have the same emotional impact.
>How seriously do editors and reviewers take mistakes like this?
>Regards, in haste.
Alec McClay, Ph.D., P. Biol.
15 Greenbriar Crescent
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Email <mailto:alec.mcclay at shaw.ca>alec.mcclay at shaw.ca or
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