Yes, Dammit

Rudolf Flesch wrote The Art of Readable Writing. It is a great book, which, coincidentally is very readable. It is full of examples, and today I read a great anecdote about spitting Infinities.

Flesch writes:

I found this last example in an article by Raymond Chandler in the March 1948 Atlantic Monthly. Since I had read somewhere that the Atlantic considers the split infinitive taboo, I wrote a letter to the editor, Mr. Edward Weeks, and asked how come. His answer was interesting:

Dear Mr. Flesch:
I accordance with Atlantic usage, we do not encourage our authors to split infinities. In fact, we try to prevent them from doing so, and when our Proof Reader raised the question on the galley margin: “Is the split infinitive okay?”, Mr. Chandler replied: “Yes, dammit.”