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Old 01-23-2009, 12:09 PM   #21
Michael Rowley
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KT:

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Unless you think we should follow Latin rules
English usage doesn't follow the classic Latin authors, except accidentally: Latin rules are just a red herring. But I have no idea of US American usage, nor, for that matter, of late eighteenth usage.

   
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:16 PM   #22
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Speaking of Obama. I thought his speech when he won in November was one of the best I had ever heard. I downloaded a copy of it later from the net and the content of it was really good but to hear him deliver it, as I did on television, was something else again. The Gettysburg address by Lincoln and two speeches of Churchill's during WW2 are held up as some of the best but in my humble opinion Obama's was better.
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:50 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
You may do so, but there is no English grammar rule that says you must.

Unless you think we should follow Latin rules.
Wasn't it Samuel Johnson who invented a lot of those rules by translating English into Latin and then translating it literally back to English?

But then, who's to say the Romans got it right?

   
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:34 AM   #24
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But then, who's to say the Romans got it right?
Burchfield mentioned in Fowler's that in the late eighteenth century it was held that the split infinitive was impossible in Latin, therefore incorrect in English, and the time when the split infinitive was in vogue was the late eighteenth century: and when was Washington inaugurated? I think in 1789!

   
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