Two things wrong with this headline
Of headnotes and issue statements

Sure, you can split an infinitive, but this is ridiculous.

This blog’s official position on split infinitives is that they’re okay. The Star Trek catch phrase — “to boldly go” — is A-okay with us. But please, please don’t use your freedom from the no-split-infinitives superstition to write a sentence like this:

Is it kosher for a law enforcement agency to, pursuant to a lawfully granted search warrant, search your Gmail account without telling you?

I found this on, of all places, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. As my high-school Spanish and Latin teacher, Fr. Gregor, would say, “Et tu, Brute?” The problem isn’t the split; it’s that the split is a chasm — a seven-word something-or-other phrase interrupting another phrase.

Comments

NJ

LOL. It's a slippery slope, isn't it?

cfoster

I read that too! It is especially jarring because it is the first sentence of the post. Instead of carrying me into the story, it had me pondering how I would rewrite it.

Ray


You could just move the “to”: “Is it kosher for a law enforcement agency, pursuant to a lawfully
granted search warrant, to search your Gmail account without telling you?” Probably more editing is in order (e.g. “May a law-enforcement agency, acting under a search warrant, search your Gmail account without telling you?”). But moving the “to” would fix the problem pointed out by this post.

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