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Subject:

P.S. RE: Grammar pedantry

From:

Peter M Wilson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Peter M Wilson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 5 Dec 2013 17:17:40 +0000

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (178 lines) , text/plain (6 lines)

And there is a very humane and sensible book about the limits of 'correctness' by David Marsh (style editor of The Guardian called "For Who the Bell Tolls" [sic].'

Peter

Peter Wilson,
Editor of AWE (the Academic Writing in [British] English website, www.hull.ac.uk/awe
[log in to unmask]

________________________________________
From: learning development in higher education network [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Peter M Wilson [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 05 December 2013 11:41
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar pedantry

Hear, hear!  Not only 'a splendid demolition', but a fine demonstration of linguistic scholarship - and anti-pedantry!

Peter

Peter Wilson,
Editor of AWE (the Academic Writing in [British] English website, www.hull.ac.uk/awe
[log in to unmask]

________________________________________
From: learning development in higher education network [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Julia Miller [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 04 December 2013 23:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar pedantry

Thanks for directing us to that excellent article, Pauline.
Now I know why an American reviewer was so unhappy with the passive voice constructions and use of 'which' in a journal article I submitted!
Best wishes
Julia

-----Original Message-----
From: learning development in higher education network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Pauline Ridley
Sent: Thursday, 5 December 2013 6:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar pedantry

See also Geoff Pullums splendid demolition of Strunk & White's grammatical diktats (more influential in the US than here) in http://chronicle.com/article/50-Years-of-Stupid-Grammar/25497

Best wishes
Pauline
------------
Pauline Ridley


> On 4 Dec 2013, at 19:15, "Peter M Wilson" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> Dear All
>
> This debate has been going on for a long time.  For one answer, see AWE (page at http://slb-ltsu.hull.ac.uk/awe/index.php?title=Split_infinitive).
>
> On one point of really annoying pedantry:  Helen's original query gave examples (assignment titles/instructions) which were not of split infinitives: the clue is in the word 'instructions'.  In 'critically analyse' and 'critically appraise', the adverb 'critically' is attached to imperative verbs.  Both English and Latin verbs normally form imperatives as single words, and therefore it is not possible to split them (except, super-pedants might note, by tmesis - see http://slb-ltsu.hull.ac.uk/awe/index.php?title=Tmesis).
>
> On another, it seems to have been John Dryden (1631-1700), rather than any Victorian, who first formulated the shibboleth against splitting the infinitive.  It IS a shibboleth; but when some of our colleagues regard it as a golden rule, learners are well advised to avoid it.
>
> Forgive any annoyance: season's greetings to one and all - and keep using AWE!
>
> Peter
>
> Peter Wilson,
> Editor of AWE (the Academic Writing in [British] English website,
> www.hull.ac.uk/awe) [log in to unmask]
>
>
> ________________________________________
> From: learning development in higher education network
> [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of David Bowers [[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: 04 December 2013 14:28
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Grammar pedantry
>
> Hi all,
>
> Just picking up Martin's point....
>
> Am I the only one who sees a subtle semantic difference in "choosing not to mention ..." and "choosing to not mention ..."?
>
> David
>
> From: learning development in higher education network
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Martin Hampton
> Sent: 03 December 2013 10:59
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Grammar pedantry
>
> Hi Helena. Thanks for pointing about the 'to critically analyse' thing; I never thought to see the split infinitive in this and other similar instructional phrases!
>
> Experience tells me not to worry very much about split infinitives. I always try to come from the perspective of clarity, and normally choose not to mention (to not mention?) those of the more 'archaic' / flexible rules whose application wouldn't actually add anything to clarity.
> regards
> martin H.
>
> On 3 December 2013 10:53, Beeson Helena <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>
> I saw a student last week who was concerned about his academic writing. The only issue I saw was a few split infinitives which we talked through. We then looked at his upcoming assignment briefs which were littered with 'critically analyse', 'critically appraise' etc.
>
> I'm aware that split infinitives are used freely in spoken English, but have we lost the battle where academic writing is concerned now? Is it time for me to give up the campaign?!
>
> I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this increasingly archaic
> rule. I don't know if my seemingly strict approach is linked to my bah
> humbug attitude about the arrival of Christmas in the middle of
> November...
>
> To split or not to split?
>
> Thanks all,
> Helena
>
>
>
> Helena Beeson BA (Hons) MA MCLIP AHEA
> Academic Practice Tutor
> CfAP
> University of Northampton
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> 01604 893340
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> 96% of our graduates are in employment or further study six months
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>
>
>
> --
> Martin Hampton, BA (Hons), PGCE, FHEA
> Academic Skills (ASK)
> Nuffield Centre
> University of Portsmouth
> PO1 2ED
> UK
>
> W: www.port.ac.uk/ask<http://www.port.ac.uk/ask>
> E:  [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> T:   023 9284 3028
>
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