Page:A Desk-Book of Errors in English.djvu/226

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omitted) should be used. As the title is specific and personal, this is the more necessary.

the infinitive: The particle to is an inherent and component part of the infinitive, and is strictly inseparable therefrom, in precisely the same way that the prefixed syllable which assists to form a compound word (as inconstant) is a necessary part of the compound. But this to belongs to the present infinitive only, and properly finds no place in such expressions as "He was fool enough to have risked his good name. " Despite the hundreds of uses of this method of expression, it is a blunder: the sentence should read "fool enough to risk." It is, too, on the ground of inseparability that the split infinitive (which see) is so reprehensible. "To dance gracefully" should not be transposed into "to gracefully dance."

them: The use of this word as a demonstrative adjective for a pronoun is wholly unpermissible. A common error due to a desire to designate particularly the article required. Do not say "Give me them things"; say, rather, "... those things." However, of things previously mentioned one may say "Give them to me. "

then: The use of this word as an adjective, as in the phrase "the then Bishop of York," has been questioned; but the usage is expressive and convenient, and is supported by good literary authority.