The word to has a number of uses in English, but in this
lecture I wish to concentrate on its use in forming part of an
The critical question is whether the infinitive form of an English
verb is the two-word combination including a to. If so then
nserting additional words between the to and the other word is
a vicious act of wordicide and should be avoided. The alternative
view is that there is no infinitive as such in English, and so the
to is just a label.
I personally have great troubles reading text with split infinitives.
I was reading a business plan the other day in which there were so
many demonstrations of this criminal art that I assumed that the
company being promoted was run by uneducated people on the make, and it
gave me no confidence. Worse, it was a university spin-off, whose
current Board are academics or senior company directors.
Last modified: Sun Apr 6 18:29:59 BST 2003