ancient thread

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon Oct 6 15:28:42 EDT 2003


Robyn advised:

>>I suspect that in order not to do it willy-nilly one needs to know that the
>>infinitive exists.
>
>Well, for my introductory composition students, I teach a couple of general
>rules for sentence structure that cover infinitive splitation without
>specifying it exactly. "Don't separate the parts of a verb" covers it,
>without using scary technical terms.

That's neat.  So long as they know what a verb is, of course, and would
recognise the parts of a verbs as being such, rather than something else.

They'd also have to work out what to do with such phrases as "the
punishment he has so richly deserved", if "has' and "deserved" both look
like bits of verb (as they do)...  "so richly has deserved' and "has
deserved so richly" somehow don't either of them work the same way, and I
have just noticed that "do" and "work" there have also been broken asunder,
by "either of them".......   and "have" and "been broken" by
"also".........    aaargh    .....I think I'll just stop now whilst I'm not
ahead....

>>Like etiquette books they often disagree with one another, in my experience.
>The solution to this is simple: one should only read Miss Manners.

Is she sound in the matter of dangling participles?  :-)

Minnow


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