[whatwg] A few editing suggestions for the HTML5 spec

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Sun Apr 15 12:54:49 PDT 2007

On Apr 14, 2007, at 10:01 PM, gary turner wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> On Apr 14, 2007, at 3:14 PM, Geoffrey Garen wrote:
>>> 1.4
>>> "when not qualified to explicitly refer"
>>> when not qualified explicitly to refer
>>> (split infinitive)
>> The split infinitive is not generally considered a grammatical  
>> error these days. See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
>> Split_infinitive> for the fascinating (to grammar mavens) history  
>> of the construction and a reference that "most experts on language  
>> now agree that the split infinitive is sometimes appropriate."
> For those of us, fifty years ago, who bore Mrs. Stokes's evil eye  
> in 7th grade English grammar, it still causes a certain queasiness  
> to watch the language change.  But, change it does.
> In these cases, though, un-splitting the infinitives makes the  
> meaning of the phrase more clear to those of us who do not already  
> grok the issue in fullness. It isn't always mere pedantry when one  
> picks at nits.  Isn't that what writing a specification is all about?

In some cases, though, un-splitting the infinitive can increase  
ambiguity. In Geoff's example above, is it the referring or the  
qualification that is explicit? In the original language, it is clear  
that it's the referring.


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