#IWSG – TO BOLDLY GO

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge 

Attempting to ignore my ill-health, it’s time for my monthly post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day.

January 4th Question: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

As there are a few rules that I wish I’d never heard, it seems easiest to start with the first one I broke.

At school in the 1960s and 1970s, my teachers tried hard to teach me, and other students, not to split our infinitives, ever. I never felt that these teachers gave me a reasonable explanation, so when the split infinitive worked, I insisted that I had the right, in the words of Star Trek “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” This usage seemed appropriate as many of my earliest short story attempts were SF.

I felt justified in breaking this cardinal rule when I later heard that the first English Grammar used Latin Grammars as its basis – the Latin infinitive is one word so can’t be split. To my mind, that explained why my teachers, most of them trained in Latin, stuck to the rule.

I have since discovered that although many authorities quote the Latin argument, others point to different 19th-century grammarians for the rule’s origin. Check out these links if you want to know more about split infinitives:

http://www.grammar.com/split-infinitives-2/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_infinitive

http://grammarist.com/grammar/split-infinitives/

 

As for me, I learned as a teenager that there were writing rules that needed questioning, and fifty years later nothing has changed, and I welcome excuses to break rules.

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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

Our revved up IWSG Day question may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

The awesome co-hosts for this January 4th posting of the IWSG are Eva @ Lillicasplace,
Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner.

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11 thoughts on “#IWSG – TO BOLDLY GO

  1. I firmly belive that if it extresses exactly what you want, then you should do it, no matter what rules say.

    This is different from ingnoring the rules. I feel many beginning writers think that not bothering about the rules is cutting edge and bold. Personally, I think that if you don’t know the rules and you don’t muster them skillfully, you’ll never be able to break them in a creative way.

    Like

    • I discovered about the Latin origin in my late teens/ early twenties, but the 19th-century craziness was when I researched this post. As you say, Ellen, it’s enough to tempt one to break other rules. 😉

      Like

  2. Pingback: #IWSG – READING AS A WRITER | Writing Wings

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