From: Bill Ross (wross@farmerstel.com)
Date: Mon Aug 17 1998 - 00:47:26 EDT

Many thanks to Clayton for the feedback on linguistic theory.

Since etymology is a "sister" to translation efforts, some B-Greekers may be
interested to know that the NY Times maintains a forum, similar to B-Greek,
for discussing English etymology (word origins):


Here is a sample enlightening entry:

Twain explained the derivation of Middletown (Ohio). He claimed that
"Middletown" was derived from "Moses". The "oses" had been dropped and
"iddletown" added.

Hey, that sounds like a B-Greek entry I read once! And here's another:

Because splitting a Latin infinitive proved impossible (a Latin infinitive
being a split-proof single word), our self-conscious ancestors strove
mightily to emulate Latin by attempting to implant the Latin infinitive's
unsplitability into English. But their attempt proved foolhardy, for one can
easily split an English infinitive, which is a unit of two words, into two
parts--_to_ and the verb form--thus creating a handy nest for an adverb.

To easily observe an example of the split infinitive, reread the opening
words of this sentence. The intonational pattern of the split infinitive
here seems natural, more so than that of "Easily to observe" or "to observe

But as a professional teacher of English, I strive to use split infinitives
never, thus hoping not to waste time defensively, in having endlessly to
explain and to--arrgh!--re-explain all of this too much ado about what
follows an infinitude of infinitive _to_'s.

(Fortunately, the rhetorical scheme of parenthesis allows me at least one
way to--yahoo!--wedge a word into that otherwise inviolable sanctum.)


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