Elliot: Don’t sweat the split infinitive


“ho doesn’t love some free Panchero’s?” is what we read recently on the UI Main Calendar of Events. Obviously, a job for Dr. Life Grammar.

Dear Dr. Life Grammar: Try as I might, I can’t seem to get rid of the split infinitives in my life. I’ve tried the 12-step program, I’ve tried cold turkey, I tried religion. Even Zen. What should I try to dammit do? — Splitsville

Dear Splitsville: Don’t sweat the split infinitives; they’re severely allergic to saunas. And then you stumble into paired photons and all kinds of cosmic mess.

While you’re at the not-sweating biz, don’t worry about ending sentences with prepositions, either. They go quite nicely with red wine, though not Medoc. Try a highly ignored Cab, or, failing that, Mad Dog Double-20. Brain-cell oblivion should follow within Double-20 minutes.

Dear Dr. Life Grammar: I have finals. ARRRRRGHGHGHGH!!! — Finalocity

Dear Finalocity: Nothing is final. Nothing.

Except for one thing, and you can’t really do anything about Texas. Well, except keep on driving and keep on hoping that New Mexico shows up one of these years.

Oh, and take your keyboard out back and shoot the Exclamation Mark key three times. That is, if you don’t have a silver stake.

By the way, don’t sweat the split infinitives.

Dear Dr. Life Grammar: I am a fast-food joint, and before you laugh, Public-University Boy, I attended Yale. My problem is my new owners want to change me into a nice, family-friendly, cozy wood-beam kind of restaurant with a fake fireplace in the corner. Yuck. I was McHappy and McContent with fast-food metric tons of Formica and lighting so sterile it could be home to a surgical suite. What am I to do? — Fast Beyond the Yale

Dear Beyond: You’re in the wrong place, my friend, to quote a Nobel-winning songster. I am not merely the product of a Public University, I am the product of the Slow-Food Revolution. If it doesn’t take eight hours for your entrée to arrive, it’s not worth taking the first bite. Or byte, one of these days.

And the menu should use French as much as possible, except for the verbs. Who has thyme for all those conjugations? Even when thyme is all you have on your hands. Get out of Dodge fast. And into a Fiat. Same company, different accent. Corner fireplace optional.

And don’t sweat the split infinitives. They just slow you down.

Dear Dr. Life Grammar: I am the Proud Ruler of a Proud Great Power, and the so-called United States must Remember that. I am on my Fourth Inauguration, you two-term wannabes, but not all my people adore me, and I am forced to throw them in prison and torture them. Sometimes throw them out of windows or high staircases. Or poison them with radioactive agents. Fortunately, we have Chernobyl. What am I to do? — Put-in Corners

Dear Put-in: Relax. Everyone remembers your Proud Rule. And your radioactive agents.

Remember your mantra: I came, I czar, I conquered. Just keep repeating your mantra, it’ll solve everything. Well, except for understanding Dostoevsky and the Grand Inquisitor.

And don’t sweat the split infinitives. Which are impossible in Russian, anyway.

Dear Dr. Life Grammar: I am a high-powered lawyer in a little bit of a mess. Not my fault. How was I supposed to know that the Capo dei Capi wasn’t supposed to know about the $130,000? I mean, details, details. — High-Powered Type

Dear High-Powered Typo: Take a deep breath. Then another. It won’t really help, but all the hydrocarbons in the air might get you a bit high.

And high (& dry) is where you’re going to end up, it appears. Relax. The Witness Protection Program is pretty good, unless your name is Frank Jones of Flagstaff, Arizona.

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