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To Split or Not to Split?

By January 28, 2023No Comments

“What’s your opinion of split infinitives,” a close friend and fellow writer recently asked me. She knows I am a book editor, of course. She added, “I love Star Wars, but I hate ‘to boldly go.’”

I answered, “The rare split infinitive is acceptable, especially when saying something a different way would be less pleasing to the ear. That said, split infinitives are best avoided in creative writing.”

You may ask, “But what about the rules?” Ah, the rules. Many of the things we thought were rules in writing are merely guidelines. In my opinion creative writing has no absolute rules. We have conventional wisdom, guidelines, and standard usage, but we also have poetic license.

Along the same lines, I returned a question to my friend, “What do you think of the substandard spelling of ‘alright,’ when the standard spelling is ‘all right?’ I see ‘alright’ used everywhere, especially in closed captioning on TV.”

She didn’t respond. I guess she thought the spelling was alright as it was.

Bobbie Christmas

Editor Bobbie Christmas is your book doctor. She can also be your mentor, ghostwriter, copywriter, and writing and publishing consultant. After spending decades writing and editing for a living, Bobbie became a much-sought-after seminar and workshop leader. She began Zebra Communications in 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia, to provide professional editing services to publishers and to writers like you.

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