18 July 2021

"Sinful Pride and Rebellion"

Some American bishop of whom I know nothing, called Strickland, has written

"The rainbow has been co-opted as a sign of sinful pride and rebellion instead of a sign of hope. Let us pray for the world and the Church to reject the man made idols of our time & to once again bow humbly before almighty God. St Joseph pray for us".

Does a split infinitive enhance or diminish such a call? 

Are his vexillographical views sound?

 

16 comments:

Eriugena said...

Where does your infinitive actually split, reverende Pater?

pdm said...

No it doesn't, father (and I say this as a fellow classicist graduate). The bishop seems to be a very good and faithful chap.

And yes his views are sound. The first ever rainbow was indeed a sign of hope, whereas the rainbow flag, which was invented by a progressive American in I think the 1970's, has always been a symbol of vice.

coradcorloquitur said...

I never understood why a split infinitive is such a grammatical offense. In many cases it serves to add style and emphasis to a phrase or sentence. But, in any case, what really matters here is the very sound content of Bishop Strickland's observation about the semiotics of perversity. He is one of the few worthy, orthodox American bishops. It is rather miraculous that Francis has not sent one of his "commissions" to "investigate" some trumped-up malfeasance with the resulting (and predictable) dismissal and humiliation of the good bishop. It has happened all over the world, in at least one case resulting in death---as with the bishop of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Bishop Liviers. There should be a thorough and accurate documentation of the victims of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who seems to get away with any abuse or morally criminal he enjoys. What a tragic deformation of the great institution established by Christ---the papacy. I doubt there has ever been a more egregious sacrilege than what Francis has wrought with his abuse of the papacy---or perhaps the worship of the filthy (and ugly) Pachamama in the heart of the Church takes first prize.

Nancy said...

A local and delightful radio priest made an amusing comment on the rainbow flag. He noted, Ssshhhh don't tell them -- they've got the wrong rainbow. Theirs only has six colors. Nature's has seven. Are they perhaps missing indigo?

Sue Sims said...

to once again bow humbly before almighty God

The emboldened words form the infinitive in English: if one places an adverbial between the two words, that's splitting the infinitive. Probably the most famous split infinitive of all time is that phrase in the opening of every Star Trek episode: to boldly go where no man* has gone before.

*Pusillanimous political correctoids have now altered it to where no one has gone before, but I prefer the original.

Sue Sims said...

to once again bow humbly before almighty God

The emboldened words form the infinitive in English: if one places an adverbial between the two words, that's splitting the infinitive. Thus in the opening to 'Star Trek', a disembodied voice pronounces perhaps the most famous split infinitive in the language: 'to boldly go where no man has gone before'.

Victor said...

...to once again bow...

CHSIII said...

In the battlefield that is the present Church, everyone should know or learn of the hero Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, whose grammar yields, in this instance, to the more powerful sprung rhythm of "to once again bow humbly...", I think.

ArthurH said...

Bp Strickland is a very-white hat song do many gray and black ones.

ArthurH said...

Bp Strickland is a very-white hat song do many gray and black ones.

Joseph Revesz Sr. said...

God bless faithful bishops, like Bishop Strickland.

Unknown said...

In the second edition of his MODERN ENGLISH USAGE, Fowler observes: "The English-speaking world may be divided into (1) those who neither know nor care what a split infinitive is; (2) those who do not know, but care very much; (3) those who know and condemn; (4) those who know and approve; and (5) those who know and distinguish. In the lengthy discussion that follows, Fowler places himself in the fifth category. In his revision and completion of Follett's MODERN AMERICAN USAGE, Jacques Barzun agrees with Fowler, noting that the issue comes up in written English, and only rarely in spoken, "because the voice supplies the stress needed in the unsplit form." In Barzun's judgment(and Fowler's before him), written English intermittently requires a split infinitive--"and desk sets should include small hatchets of silver or gold for the purpose." And in my judgment, Bishop Strickland is a man blessed not only with a keen sense of orthodoxy and pastoral responsibility, but also a well-stocked desk set.

John Nolan said...

The 'split infinitive' myth is a result of trying to make English grammar conform to that of Latin, where it is impossible to split the infinitive. Another example is the quaint notion that you can't end a sentence with a preposition, which ignores the fact that English has phrasal verbs, about the only grammatical trait which perplexes foreigners, who would logically infer that the oposite of 'to get on with someone' is 'to get off with someone'.

Sue Sims said...

John Nolan and Unknown (are you a Known Unknown or an Unknown Unknown?): agreed. I wasn't commenting on the correctness or otherwise of a 'split infinitive', and it's certainly true that trying to avoid it sometimes produces very clumsy English.

And if Fr Hunwicke will forgive me for roaming very far from the point of his original post, I can't resist quoting Raymond Chandler, writing to his editor at The Atlantic:

"By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split..."

PM said...

I usually wince at split infinitives, but I am more than happy to overlook the excellent Bishop Strickland's use of it on this occasion.

PM said...

Churchill replied in his inimitable way to a reproof over his ending sentence with a preposition: 'That is an assertion up with which I will not put.'