There, in plain sight: It’s the invisible golfer

I like the idea of being able to play in a golf tournament without telling anyone. It’s almost enough to make me want to play golf again – almost.

This sentence, from an AP story, had another syntactic issue besides turning Jack Nicklaus into the Invisible Man. Saying “Nicklaus already was reaching ceremonial status” has all the euphony of a car horn.

It isn’t wrong, but it would read much more smoothly if “already” and “was” were switched:

“Nicklaus was already reaching ceremonial status …”

Some writers and editors cling to a grammatical myth that forbids the splitting of verbals and infinitives.

Don’t be one of them. Use your ear. If you do, you can save your readers from clunky sentences and the invisible golfer.

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