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To not ...

(6 Posts)
nennypops Sun 20-Oct-13 16:08:32

Any other pedants find their teeth on edge at the constant use in AIBU of thread titles like "To not like..", "To not say ...", "To not want to ..." It's just as easy to use terms like "To dislike", "To refuse to", "Not to want to", and much less ugly.

MagzFarqharson Wed 23-Oct-13 01:08:32

But don't your alternatives mean the same, just with a slightly more active/positive slant?

You would prefer 'I dislike' to 'I do not like', etc?

First time on here smile

chateauferret Sat 25-Jan-14 00:23:41

The rule being broken is obviously that of the split infinitive, which became much more acceptable from the late 60s when the USS Enterprise was sent on its five-year mission "to boldly go". It should have been "boldly to go" but speakers may feel the alternative (strictly correct) construction is awkward. For similar reasons we nowadays think that a preposition is an acceptable part of speech to end a sentence with.

Not confined to English. In German you put the verb at the very end of the clause after a subordinating conjunction. The intervening stuff can last several minutes and remembering the verb for this long can be an issue. Heavily -inflected languages can become more analytical through this kind of process, e.g. losing cases nobody can be bothered with any more, like the vocative in Russian. The genitive case in German could have its days numbered too.

MirandaGoshawk Mon 27-Jan-14 14:46:05

"... to end a sentence with." shock

But no, to the OP. Teeth go on edge at all sorts of things, but not your examples. (First time on PC that I haven't agreed have disagreed with the OP!

MirandaGoshawk Mon 27-Jan-14 14:46:34


chateauferret Sat 08-Feb-14 14:35:54

You familiar with irony, no?

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