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9:26am on Thursday, 10th August, 2006:

Split Infinitive


This morning, GM TV continually reported the breaking news of a thwarted terrorist attack as saying the plan was was "to allegedly blow up planes".

I dislike split infinitives at the best of times, and studiously avoid them if I can, but this one is not only split, it's wrong. The plan was "allegedly to blow up planes", not "to allegedly blow up planes". Allegedly blowing up a plane isn't harmful; blowing up a plane is harmful, and this is what the police are alleging the conspiritors were planning.

Yes, I know: tens of thousands of people are stuck at airports and we've narrowly avoided significant loss of life, yet here I am complaining about grammar. They're related though, in that I can't do anything about either...

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).