The Price's Write features tips I have run across or discovered myself through my years of writing and teaching writing. They are offered as suggestions to help you become a better writer. Our explanations will be brief, but I think if you follow these tips you can improve your writing. And more importantly, your audience will notice that improvement.No matter what you were taught in school, you can split hairs, you can split logs, and you can split your infinitives.
The break-the-rule rule for infinitives (to + a verb) is simple: If it sounds better, write it that way.
I mean think Star Trek. Which sounds better? To go boldly or to boldly go. Creator Gene Roddenberry chose the second way and he's made a lot more money and had much more of an influence on the world than any teacher who ever red-penned your split infinitive.
The to-split-or-not-to-split question actually comes down to 2 main points:
- Split the infinitive when any the following would be improved - the sound, the emphasis, or the clarity of the phrase.
- The type of writing you are doing - academic with formal audience, probably avoid splitting; informal or creative, split away.
Sometimes you want to write successfully and sometimes you want to successfully write.