Splitting infinitives

 

Madam, - Since there are arguments both for and against splitting infinitives, it is simplistic to imply that any use of a split infinitive is incorrect or inappropriate (Dr Dermot J. O'Brien, April 27th).

If split infinitives were good enough for the likes of Benjamin Franklin, William Wordsworth, George Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and Raymond Chandler, can't they be good enough for the rest of us, when used appropriately?

As Chandler once wrote: "when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split." - Yours, etc,

GARY STEPHENS, Burleigh Court, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

Madam, - More than a century ago the great Fowler (of Modern English Usage) killed the fusty 19th-century prohibition against "split" infinitives stone dead.

What is it in the DNA of pedants that makes them want to so desperately cling on to that ancient shibboleth? - Yours, etc,

MALCOLM ROSS-MACDONALD, Birr, Co Offaly.