Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 09:53:24 +0000

From: "E. W. Gilman" egilman[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]M-W.COM

Subject: split infinitives

The split infinitive was discovered and named in the 19th century;

Lowth and Priestley and Murray were not aware of its existence. I

don't know who made the discovery. Visser says that Goold Brown's

1851 Grammar of English Grammars has something on the subject, and if

so, it would be the earliest of which I am aware. I have not,

however, been able to find it in our 10th edition of the book, and

Visser gave no clue as to page or section. There is, incidentally, a

modestly enlightening article on the subject in our Merriam-Webster's

Dictionary of English Usage (plug, plug). The non-Latin practice

that Dryden expunged in revising his works was, I believe, the

terminal preposition, that other hardy perennial of the usage trade.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what the Archibald Hill festschrift

Rudy Troike refers to is? I'd like to read his article, if I can lay

hold of a copy. I'm particularly interested in the forces applied

to Lindley Murray, whose book is almost entirely a compendium of what

Lowth, Priestley, and two or three other earlier grammarians had