ILL, the verb

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 29 04:43:11 UTC 2013

On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 9:28 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> Ah, it took me a couple of readings to realize you really are talking here just about "to not#", at the end of a clause, and not "to not V" ("I was told to not go there", which I see as indeed just an instance of infinitive splitting.

Part of the problem with winkling out my point is that, e.g. "to _not_
go" et sim. strike me as an *incredible, totally-unexpected*
aberration - as odd as "I was told _to not_#" v. "I was told _not
to_#" - whereas I find "to _boldly_ go" et sim. as just ordinary
structures that I've been familiar with from the womb. I'm just plain
freaked out by the use of _not_ to "split an infinitive." I have *no*
idea why, but I find it *really* bizarre. And this is despite the fact
that I must have heard and read "to not V" millions of times, by now.


FWIW, animated characters voiced by Seth MacFarlane never split an
infinitive with _not_. He rules! :-)

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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