March 04, 2010

"Halle-verbal infix-lujah."

In honor of National Grammar Day:

To whimsically digress, let us invoke here the existence of the infix in English. The official party line, promulgated at the elementary-school level, is that English has prefixes and suffixes but no infixes. The thoughtful grammarian will have noticed that English has at least one infix, bleeping, as in abso-bleeping-lutely, in-bleeping-credible, and fan-bleeping-tastic. (The exact spelling and pronunciation of bleeping is subject to some variation.)

—Teresa Nielsen Hayden, in an endnote to "On Copyediting," in Making Book.

(And John M. Ford is still missed.)

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