Splitting hairs over split infinitives

They’re baaaack…

Six months after I wrote about split infinitives here, the geniuses in the writing department are bombarding me with a shower of them. Where did I go wrong? Please turn off the sprinkler!

Check out these examples of split infinitives. The first is a book title:

  • How to Successfully Manage a Virtual Workforce
  • Trees require certified arborists who can correctly diagnose problems.
  • She decided he could quickly make it over to her apartment.
  • Will I have to keep writing forever about split infinitives?

Here are the corrected versions:

  • How to Manage a Virtual Workforce Successfully (P.S.: the author made workforce one word when it’s actually two)
  • Trees require certified arborists who can diagnose problems correctly.
  • She decided he could make it over to her apartment quickly.
  • Will I have to keep writing about split infinitives forever?

As I mentioned in my previous post, not all split infinitives are bad. Consider these examples:

  • We work diligently to obtain the best possible protection for each invention.

This sentence is OK because it wouldn’t make sense to write, “We work to obtain the best possible protection for each invention diligently.”

  • The company plans to more than triple its production in the coming year.

This is another situation where it doesn’t make sense to fix the split.

If you’d like to know more about split infinitives, check out this post from Grammar Girl, an excellent blog. Sooner or later, I know you’ll get it. (Hint: Did you find the split infinitive?)

About Dawn

Dawn is the senior editor at The Simons Group. As a grammar queen, she'd rather lose her wallet than misplace an apostrophe. Fellow copy ninjas unite -- you have an ally.

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