Defending the split infinitive

"Researchers demonstrated how wirelessly to hack a car" is absurdly unnatural syntax ("Breaching-point", December 24th). It encourages a misreading where "wirelessly" goes with "how" (as in "how frequently"). "Demonstrated how to wirelessly hack a car" expresses what was meant. The Economist has advocated evidence-based inquiry and intellectual freedom since 1843. Why submit to an adverb-positioning policy founded on dogmatism? The need for clarity should overrule superstitious dread of the split infinitive.

Geoffrey Pullum
Professor of general linguistics
University of Edinburgh