Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Spot the Spilt Infinitve

(as if that's the least of my grammatical sins)

So today at work was OK, but I had a headache most of the day and I think it was stress related. The funny thing is, I didn't have more to do than I could handle. I think my problem was (is) that I am a little lazy, and my body is actually putting up a fight to deter me from working. I saw myself trying to find ways to get out of certain assignments by diplomatically pointing out the needlessness of them (where applicable) to the person who requested it done (not good work ettiquette, BTW). Partly, in my defense, I am motivated by a need for efficiency. Why waste time and paper photocopying some images if I've already scanned and modified them in the computer and just need the printer to be fixed so I can print them out? I will only have to do the work once if we can just wait a couple hours for IT to fix a technical problem. Incidentally (and this does not exonerate me) we DID fix the printer. But that time I spent redoing stuff really wasn't wasted cause God used it to point out another area where I need to be humble and submissive. I think there is a place for pointing out possible improvements in workflow, etc, but it should be motivated by an interest in bettering the workplace, not just getting out of work.

In other news...We had an interesting visitor this evening. My old high school sweetheart, Matt, is working for InterVarsity and is seeking financial & prayer partners. He came by to talk about what he's doing in ministry and see if we'd be interested in supporting him. A couple of months ago he sent a letter and called about it, but I have tried to avoid actually seeing him--I hoped we could conduct all necessary information sessions over the phone. He really wanted to meet with Kurt and me in person, though, so I finally gave in. I figured that if he was so OK with it, I ought to be, too (right?). My hesistancy came mostly from the fact that we haven't had contact in a long time now, and I wasn't sure what to expect out of the meeting. Sometimes it's hard to be with a person in the present who you knew so well in the past; it can be awkward and difficult to relate "normally" cause you just don't know each other anymore but feel that you do--these situations are especially difficult for me since I'm constantly trying to guess what other people are thinking at any given moment (and in his case I used to know or tried so hard to guess that it drove me nuts. Old habits can die hard). From his arrival to his departure, though, I continually reminded myself that we are different people now. Just try to start over. I am happy to say that tonight I felt God's liberation from the past. Thank you Lord for helping us rise above our fear and see clearly.

We had a great conversation (though he and Kurt did most of the talking) and I look forward to following what God does through him with InterVarsity. Incidentally, if any of you out there feel so led, he is still in need of financial support. Perhaps God would like to use you to further the kingdom at UC Irvine by partnering with Matt...


Blogger David Cho said...

Thanks for what you have to share about your friend Matt. I will put a posting related to what he does hopefully before I go to bed.

9/29/2004 8:31 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I am very bad at spotting split infinitives when I write. That's always the top error of mine whenever I receive my papers back.

I totally understand your laziness thing--I found myself doing the same things when I was working. I guess I always feel the need to make sure that it's not taking you two steps to do what you can do in one. However, you make a wise point that one should stop and consider whether this is some instance where God is working in you to perfect something about yourself. I'll have to think more about that.

9/29/2004 9:18 PM  
Blogger kika said...

Hi Jen,
It has been fun reading your blog. I keep meaning to write in mine. It is not ready to be seen. I will let you know...
ANyhow... I don't care if this makes me sound dumb, it is better to ask and learn than to stay ignorant, so, What is a spilt infinitive? I don't know what to look for.

9/30/2004 10:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I'm glad you enjoy my blog! Sometimes I wonder why anyone would want to know what I'm thinking, but then, I love reading other people's blogs. I'm looking forward to yours getting going. I wondered why you didn't seem to have one yet...

So the split infinitive thing. Here are a couple examples of verbs in their infinitive tense:
to run
to ask
A spilt infinitive is made by putting a word (usually an adverb like "quickly" or "angrily") inbetween the "to" and the verb. The famous quote, "to boldly go where no man has gone before" is a great example. Notice that "bodly" has come between "to" and "go". Infinitive verbs are in very committed relationships so keep those adulterous adverbs on the outside.

9/30/2004 3:36 PM  
Blogger David Cho said...

So what makes those verbs "infinite"(as opposed to finite). I am not seeing the connection.

9/30/2004 9:26 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Split Infinitives were the featured article on Wikipedia the other day. I thought it was interesting. Were there any split infinitives in your post above, Jenn? I can't find any.

9/30/2004 10:15 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

You wanna know something funny? There is a sentence with an awkwardly placed adverb, but it is not technically a spilt infinitive. When I put the title in, I was sure that I had made one, but I should have looked more closely. Titles and I don't seem to be getting along very well in Blogland...

10/02/2004 4:49 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

David--I think that a verb is "infinite" in the infinitive tense because it is not conjugated into a time-tense (past, present, present progressive, etc). The infinitive verb acts neither in the past, future or even present; it is unlimited by time, eternal in existence. To wantonly conjugate an infinitive verb is to cast it from glory. (Now there's a split infinitve at least loosely attached to my post, Matt).

10/02/2004 4:57 PM  
Blogger atrium42 said...

Can't we just stick the adulterous part of split infinitives. I don't even know what an adverb is. I'm sure there's a rule about ending sentences with is too.

11/06/2004 8:52 PM  

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