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#146228 - 08/11/05 02:31 PM Re: The Invisible Committees  
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maverick Offline
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> unscharacteristic fashion

Couldn't find that one on even *really obscure sites like...

oh, but let me introduce myself: I am the new Acting Chairman (Unelected) of the Stinkin Rulez and General Oversight Committee. The past chair was deemed to be a witless slave to standing orders so has been ousted in a bloodless coup. And I've got my beady eye on the Vice Chair (Vice and Moral Rectitude Sub-committee) too, so I better not start seeing loads of Minutes and Agendas and stuff... Normal lack of service will now be resumed.


#146229 - 08/11/05 07:08 PM the well-split infinitive  
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Father Steve Offline
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The Lovely AnnaStrophic asks innocently: Since when do prescriptivists split infinitives, good sir?

"In fact, the split infinitive is distinguished both by its length of use and the greatness of its users. People have been splitting infinitives since the 14th century, and some of the most noteworthy splitters include John Donne, Samuel Pepys, Daniel Defoe, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Johnson, William Wordsworth, Abraham Lincoln, George Eliot, Henry James, and Willa Cather." ~The American Heritage® Book of English Usage. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

"Split infinitives have been in use since the 13th century, although by the 16th Century they were rare in some of the most notable authors. William Shakespeare used one, in Sonnet 142. " ~http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_infinitive

"The 'split' infinitive has taken such hold upon the consciences of journalists that, instead of warning the novice against splitting his infinitives, we must warn him against the curious superstition that the splitting or not splitting makes the difference between a good and a bad writer. The split infinitive is an ugly thing, as will be seen from our examples below; but it is one among several hundred ugly things, and the novice should not allow it to occupy his mind exclusively. Even that mysterious quality, 'distinction' of style, may in modest measure be attained by a splitter of infinitives." ~H.W. Fowler (1858–1933). The King’s English, 2nd ed. 1908.

And the humble vicar responds timidly: In my efforts to elevate my writing toward the level of Donne, Pepys, Defoe, Franklin, Johnson, Wordsworth, Lincoln, Eliot, James, Cather and Shakespeare, I have adopted the occasional use of the split infinitive. My prayer is that it, along with a few other bits, will give my writing "distinction of style." That failing, it at least provides a target, not unlike the duck which slowly crosses the range in a shooting gallery.


#146230 - 08/11/05 08:37 PM Re: the well-split infinitive  
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inselpeter Offline
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Alas, Fowler allows at best a modicum of that 'mysterious quality' to him who would splitter be.


#146231 - 08/11/05 10:23 PM RSPCE  
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Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah
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Pooh-Bah

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or Royal Society for the Conservation and Protection of English.
I watched "The Adverture of English" last night on Knowledge Network and they talked about the movement to prevent the "degradation" of English. This was the motivating factor for Johnson's dictionary and the beginning of the idea of a single "correct" way to write/speak/use English.

edit before someone else has to point it out. No it was not called the RSPCE

#146232 - 08/11/05 11:26 PM Re: RSPCE  
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Well, this thread has certainly livened up. I like the way you handled that young upstart Vernon, Fr. Steve. Meanwhile, Faldage and mav, can I join your committees?


#146233 - 08/12/05 01:49 AM Re: RSPCE  
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The RSPCE or RSCPE -- you made that up, right? I found a group called "SPELL" on the Internet which seems to come close, but nothing quite like the elegantly-named society you suggested.


#146234 - 08/12/05 02:46 PM Re: RSPCE  
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maverick Offline
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> can I join your committees?

There's likely nothing in the stinkin rulez against it...


#146235 - 08/12/05 03:34 PM Re: RSPCE  
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Zed Offline
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RSPCE is made up but you can join anyway. The membership fee is one sovereign payable to Jane Austen and you must promise to write with a quill pen on parchment.


#146236 - 08/12/05 04:08 PM Re: RSPCE  
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maverick Offline
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quillpenandparchment is available for registration with all major domain suffixes including ~.com, .co.uk and others, and will cost you only £109 for 2 years so mail me now with your fastest express carrier pigeon before someone else gets in first.


#146237 - 08/12/05 09:26 PM Re: RSPCE  
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can I join your committees?

I do bleeve I seen you say "onliest" and "or either" so you in.


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