*Lush* life > *luxe* life?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 30 21:50:07 UTC 2008

Back in the day, prescriptivists were deadly serious about
stamping/stomping out the splitting of infinitives. From the fourth
grade, when I first discovered that the proper name of my native
language was "Ang-lish" and not "Merican," to my graduation from high
school in 1954, I saw and heard probably tens, if not hundreds, of
thousands of real and made-up examples of split infinitives, but never
a single example of "to not" nor did I ever hear or read "to not" till
"here of late," as we say in East Texas. So, I really do find it to
odd be quite, irregardless of how ordinary it may seem to others.


On 1/29/08, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: *Lush* life > *luxe* life?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 9:59 PM -0500 1/29/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >And tyhat's not even strange. What's strange is something like the
> >shift of the seemingly-immutable word-order of strings like "I decided
> >_not to go_" to "I decided _to not go_," which didn't even have a
> >prescriptive rule against it, in my lost youth. This is not to say
> >that there's a prescriptive rule against it these days. I don't know.
> >But if *I* were writing a prescriptive grammar, there certainly would
> >be, even though I know that it's already been a lost cause for
> >dekkids. :-)
> >
> Well, there is that much beloved prescriptive rule against splitting
> infinitives, whether it's a case of deciding to not go or of
> accepting a mission to boldly go where no (hu)man has gone before...
> LH
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