Share this Page URL

Chapter 26. Grammar 101 > Usage Errors - Pg. 305

Grammar 101 305 Author! Author! When reprimanded by his assistant for ending a sentence with a preposition, Winston Churchill said, "This is the sort of thing up with which I will not put." Obviously, Churchill's original end-with-a-preposition version--"This is the sort of thing which I will not put up with"--was a better sentence because it was less stilted. 15. Remember to never split an infinitive (even if you want to boldly go where no man has gone before). Error: Split infinitive. Correction: Remember never to split an infinitive (even if you want to go boldly where no man has gone before). Or None. An infinitive is the base form of the verb, before it has been conjugated, changed to show time. You can recognize infinitives by their buddies "to," which can be stated or implied. This is another one of those hotly contested usage rules. Traditionalists would rather split hairs than infinitives. Modernists, in contrast, go for sound as well as sense. Traditionalists have their way in the first instance--"to split"--but the second sentence sounds downright silly--"to go boldly."