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Grammar question

Which is correct?

  • You are too smart to not understand that.

    Votes: 8 25.0%
  • You are too smart not to understand that.

    Votes: 15 46.9%
  • Both are correct.

    Votes: 9 28.1%
  • Neither is correct.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    32
  • Poll closed .

kenny

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Enquiring minds want to know.
 

december-fire

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Kenny,

One could say you're splitting hairs (or something) here. ;-)
 

telephone89

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IDK which is correct, but the second sounds better to me. I think that's only because the T in smart clashes with the T in to though. So not really grammar related probably?
 

Jambalaya

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Doesn't the first one split an infinitive? I voted the second, but I don't really know.
 

Maria D

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Kenny, you are too smart to misunderstand this.
 

kenny

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Maria D|1453940281|3982653 said:
Kenny, you are too smart to misunderstand this.
Thanks, but everyone can be smarter in some ways than others.
I voted for the first option, but as Jambie pointed out I believe splitting an infinitive is a nono.
The second choice just feels wrong to me, though I suspect it is officially correct.

I was not well-educated and don't exactly hang around ivy-league grads so my grammar sense is likely below what is usual for my IQ.
 

dk168

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I voted for the second one, and if it is incorrect, my excuse is that English is NOT my first language!

DK :naughty: :bigsmile:
 

Dancing Fire

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I am too dumb to understand this Q.. :read:
 

december-fire

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december-fire|1453935778|3982629 said:
Kenny,

One could say you're splitting hairs (or something) here. ;-)
Kenny,

My earlier comment was a reference to the split infinitive.

I thought that was the point of your thread.

Was the split infinitive not deliberately done? The matter of split infinitives is a controversial issue, and you are known to initiate controversial threads. :lol:
 

kenny

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december-fire|1453941560|3982665 said:
december-fire|1453935778|3982629 said:
Kenny,

One could say you're splitting hairs (or something) here. ;-)
Kenny,

My earlier comment was a reference to the split infinitive.

I thought that was the point of your thread.

Was the split infinitive not deliberately done? The matter of split infinitives is a controversial issue, and you are known to initiate controversial threads. :lol:
There is no 'point'.
This thread is what you see, nothing more.

On another forum someone wrote the second one, and it sounded wrong to me.
I know this person to have an IQ of a zillion and 8,757,496,854 Ph.Ds from the world's top unis so I just wondered which was correct.
 

december-fire

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Not to threadjack, but I often wonder about the writing and grammar skills of young people who are used to sending text messages. The word 'you' is simply 'u', etc., and punctuation is completely abandoned.

Many years ago, one of the local universities created a mandatory 'Effective Business Writing' course and 'Business Presentations' course for business students. This was in response to complaints from companies that university graduates were unable to present ideas in a clear, concise manner.

Reminds me of how calculators seem to have affected the ability of people to do basic math in their heads.

That being said, I don't lose sleep over split infinitives.

However, I wish people didn't seem so completely dependent on calculators for even basic math issues.
 

Hounddog

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Does anyone know the correct answer?
I've chosen the second as the correct one and now I'm wondering.

I know my Grammar is not that good as I was never taught the rules of grammar at school (another strange passing phase in education!). So my grammar is instinctive or learned from my peers. So I may well be wrong!
 

december-fire

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kenny|1453941968|3982670 said:
december-fire|1453941560|3982665 said:
december-fire|1453935778|3982629 said:
Kenny,

One could say you're splitting hairs (or something) here. ;-)
Kenny,

My earlier comment was a reference to the split infinitive.

I thought that was the point of your thread.

Was the split infinitive not deliberately done? The matter of split infinitives is a controversial issue, and you are known to initiate controversial threads. :lol:
There is no 'point'.
This thread is what you see, nothing more.

On another forum someone wrote the second one, and it sounded wrong to me.
I know this person to have an IQ of a zillion and 8,757,496,854 Ph.Ds from the world's top unis so I just wondered which was correct.
The person on the other forum, despite their rather limited number of PhDs, was correct.

No point to a thread?!?! Next you'll tell me there's no meaning to life!!! :o

By the way, my use of multiple question marks and exclamation points is totally unforgiveable.

Its just my wild side showing through. :twisted:
 

kenny

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The "meaning" of life?
Oh, that's an easy one. :sun:

Humans are the bitches that DNA's uses to make more DNA.
 

kenny

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december-fire|1453942557|3982675 said:
Not to threadjack, but I often wonder about the writing and grammar skills of young people who are used to sending text messages. The word 'you' is simply 'u', etc., and punctuation is completely abandoned.

Many years ago, one of the local universities created a mandatory 'Effective Business Writing' course and 'Business Presentations' course for business students. This was in response to complaints from companies that university graduates were unable to present ideas in a clear, concise manner.

Reminds me of how calculators seem to have affected the ability of people to do basic math in their heads.

That being said, I don't lose sleep over split infinitives.

However, I wish people didn't seem so completely dependent on calculators for even basic math issues.
Languages have been evolving since day 1.
Texting WILL change our language.

... and I WILL fight it. :angryfire:
Of course I'll die and they'll win.
 

foxinsox

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A split infinitive is fine in English - the 'rule' against it is a prescriptive one from the days when Latin grammar rules were considered correct. In Latin the infinitive form is a single word so you can't split it.
If you consider what the negative is 'modifying' or has scope over, it make sense for it to be where it is in the sentence above.
It's been a long time since I studied grammatical structure so my terminology isn't current but "to" in "to understand" is functioning as a marker of the verb tense, namely that it's an infinitive form. "To" is a grammatical item not a meaningful word in the infinitive form.
"Not" modifies "understand" indicating lack of understanding. If you tried to modify "to" with "not" you'd be trying to negate the infinitive form. Or something equally impossible. Generally you put the modifier immediately in front of what you're modifying so that it's clear what's being modified.
Or at least that's how I understand it
 

december-fire

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Ahhhh, Latin. :love:

Three years of Latin and I've only had the odd occasion to use it. ;(

As I said earlier, splitting an infinitive is a controversial issue. Some are OK with it. Others are not. I don't gasp and faint upon the utterance of a split infinitive, but I thought Kenny's question probably pertained to the split infinitive.

I think the Oxford Dictionary states the following:
The ‘rule’ against splitting infinitives isn’t followed as strictly today as it used to be. Nevertheless, some people do object very strongly to them. As a result, it’s safest to avoid split infinitives in formal writing, unless the alternative wording seems very clumsy or would alter the meaning of your sentence.

I just hope Kenny is enough of a gentleman to refrain from exhibiting a dangling participle! :-o
 

kenny

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december-fire|1453945010|3982704 said:
I just hope Kenny is enough of a gentleman to refrain from exhibiting a dangling participle! :-o
Well since I've entered my declining years dangling is more of a concern than it used to be. :oops:
 

AGBF

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foxinsox|1453944154|3982693 said:
In Latin the infinitive form is a single word so you can't split it.
I agree with MariaD. kenny knew he could have used "misunderstood" to better effect. But then we wouldn't have had this thread. ;))

I still hate split infinitives in English and I do not care who splits them; I will still continue to correct the sentences in my own mind. It is my own equivalent of, "silent prayer". I also change every single incorrectly placed "like" to an "as" as I read silently. Unless the Thought Police get me, no one will ever be able to tell me that I cannot go around correcting split infinitives or that I must accept "like" when one should be using "as if". Because no one will catch me!

And it's a good thing that so many of the languages I have studied do have their infinitives forms in one word, like Latin, because no one then tries to split them: not Spanish; not French; not Italian; not even German. But the Germans put their verbs at the end of the sentences, so in case they decide to pull a fast one, one might miss it!
 

AGBF

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december-fire|1453945010|3982704 said:
The ‘rule’ against splitting infinitives isn’t followed as strictly today as it used to be. Nevertheless, some people do object very strongly to them. As a result, it’s safest to avoid split infinitives in formal writing, unless the alternative wording seems very clumsy or would alter the meaning of your sentence.
It's no use. My husband is a fine writer. For years now he has written without split infinitives in a business setting and all his writing comes back corrected by superiors with split infinitives. Much writing without split infinitives now sounds wrong to the uneducated reader.
It is a losing battle. Except for what I do. I write correctly since I no longer work "outside the home" (and when I did no one corrected my writing). And I use my "silent prayer" correction method when I read lest I pick up bad habits from all the modern writers. ;))

PS-Before business school my husband studied Greek and Latin classics.
 

jaysonsmom

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I chose the the second sentence without knowing the exact grammatical reasoning behind it. It just sounded righter to me :lol: .
 

VapidLapid

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AGBF|1453945546|3982709 said:
foxinsox|1453944154|3982693 said:
In Latin the infinitive form is a single word so you can't split it.
I agree with MariaD. kenny knew he could have used "misunderstood" to better effect. But then we wouldn't have had this thread. ;))

I still hate split infinitives in English and I do not care who splits them; I will still continue to correct the sentences in my own mind. It is my equivalent of, "silent prayer". I also change every single incorrectly placed "like" to an "as" as I read silently. Unless the Thought Police get me, no one will ever be able to tell me that I cannot go around correcting split infinitives or that I must accept "like" when one should be using "as if". Because no one will catch me!

And it's a good thing that so many of the languages I have studied do have their infinitives forms in one word, like Latin, because no one then tries to split them: not Spanish; not French; not Italian; not even German. But the Germans put their verbs at the end of the sentences, so in case they decide to pull a fast one, one might miss it!

I do this too.
It feels a little like picking up litter.
 

december-fire

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AGBF|1453945546|3982709 said:
foxinsox|1453944154|3982693 said:
In Latin the infinitive form is a single word so you can't split it.
I agree with MariaD. kenny knew he could have used "misunderstood" to better effect. But then we wouldn't have had this thread. ;))

I still hate split infinitives in English and I do not care who splits them; I will still continue to correct the sentences in my own mind. It is my own equivalent of, "silent prayer". I also change every single incorrectly placed "like" to an "as" as I read silently. Unless the Thought Police get me, no one will ever be able to tell me that I cannot go around correcting split infinitives or that I must accept "like" when one should be using "as if". Because no one will catch me!

And it's a good thing that so many of the languages I have studied do have their infinitives forms in one word, like Latin, because no one then tries to split them: not Spanish; not French; not Italian; not even German. But the Germans put their verbs at the end of the sentences, so in case they decide to pull a fast one, one might miss it!
AGBF,

Thank goodness there are no Thought Police! Although here in Canada, we have the Language Police in Quebec. That's another topic. :roll:

I wish basic grammar (and math!) was more common.

When I was learning French, we were learning about the various tenses, including the past perfect. One of the other students exclaimed 'Oh, we don't have that in English!'. Ummm, yes, we do.

I don't expect people to be English Majors, and I'm certainly not one, but it would be nice to see people with stronger writing skills.

Since I've retired, I feel my writing skills have deteriorated. If I mess up, please throw a virtual grammar book at me. :angel:
 

december-fire

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jaysonsmom|1453946805|3982720 said:
I chose the the second sentence without knowing the exact grammatical reasoning behind it. It just sounded righter to me :lol: .
Well, you done good! :appl:

:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

december-fire

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All this language talk reminded me of a former colleague who would say 'you's' to represent the plural of 'you'.

Someone told me creating a plural form of the word 'you' can be reflective of a certain geographic part of the country. I'm not sure if that's true, but found it interesting.
 

VapidLapid

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Yet pluralizing "me" can be diagnostic.
 

december-fire

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kenny|1453945310|3982706 said:
december-fire|1453945010|3982704 said:
I just hope Kenny is enough of a gentleman to refrain from exhibiting a dangling participle! :-o
Well since I've entered my declining years dangling is more of a concern than it used to be. :oops:
Kenny, please! Cover up!

Grammar discussions should come with the warning 'For Mature Audiences Only. Not Recommended For People Under the Age of 18.' :lol:
 

packrat

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The second sounds nicer, but when speaking, I'd probably say it the first way. Well..in all honesty I'd probably say something more along the lines of "I know you're smarter'n that."
 

ponder

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december-fire|1453947685|3982727 said:
All this language talk reminded me of a former colleague who would say 'you's' to represent the plural of 'you'.

Someone told me creating a plural form of the word 'you' can be reflective of a certain geographic part of the country. I'm not sure if that's true, but found it interesting.
My DH has family from that geographic part of the country and it drives me nuts. But... I was born in a geographic region that says "boughten" and raised in another that is fond of "y'all" and "fixin to".
 
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