Sunday, November 23, 2008

WikiBrewer

I suppose it's a sign of my age that I'm surprised at this, but in the last week a Wikipedia page has gone up about Derek Brewer.

If anyone wishes to make a Wikipedia page about me, I only ask that the phrase "so charismatic that his presence can cause strong men to swoon and woman to spontaneously combust with desire" be in there somewhere.*


*Yeah, yeah, you Latin-lovers**, "to spontaneously combust" is a split infinitive, but neither "spontaneously to combust" nor "to combust spontaneously" has the right oomph.
**By which I mean lovers of the Latin language and its forms in other languages, not Latinos who are great lovers.***
***Oooh, look, a footnote within a footnote! And another within that!

6 comments:

  1. "I only ask that the phrase..."

    Sure, one can ask!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok, as a Latin language lover I have to say that one cannot split infinitives in Latin except for the fairly rare Perfect Passive, Future Active and Passive forms, since they are simply endings attached to the roots. And speaking of these three forms, I've seen "split infinitives" aplenty...I've never quite understood why the English rule of not inserting an adverb between the "to" infinitive marker and the verb form is a rule in the first place nor why it is attributed as a "Latin" imitation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, I hear that they're working through the "Derek"s at the moment. You just wait your turn, buddy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. To be inserted in a future Wiki page:

    "Among his more idiosyncratic desires was that the phrase "so charismatic that his presence can cause strong men to swoon and woman to spontaneously combust with desire" would be inserted into any Wikipedia entry on him which might appear.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Split infinitives — what a tempest in a teacup! While it may usually promote clearer writing to keep the to next to the verb, I think it’s silliness to categorically insist* that one must always do so. I ask you: if the to were meant to be forever attached to the verb, like some invariable law of nature, wouldn’t it have become physically fixed to the verb by now? Like this: “tobe or not tobe” ...

    Split away, I say!

    * :)

    ReplyDelete