Antedating of "Split Infinitive"

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Dec 27 14:50:41 UTC 2008

On Dec 27, 2008, at 6:16 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Antedating of "Split Infinitive"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12/26/2008 08:36 PM, Shapiro, Fred wrote:
>> split infinitive (OED 1897)
>> 1890 _Scots Observer_ 13 Sept. 439 (British Periodicals
>> Collection)  The split infinitive ('to solemnly curse') is a captain
>> jewel in the carcanet.
> And having been forced to look up "carcenet" in the OED, it may be a
> useful postdating.

(1876 is the latest cite in the OED entry.)  the OED definition:

An ornamental collar or necklace, usually of gold or set with jewels.
   (App. obs. from c 1670 to 19th c.) [also figurative and
transferred, as in this case]

(nice dangling participle from J.B., by the way.)


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