For many years Carl, the Corgi, stood watch by my computer, his face always reflecting a happy disposition. In that prominent place, next to the tower (which towered over him) he was ever diligent and never complaining. I thought of him as the keeper of the ones and zeros that mysteriously dashed about on beams of light, somehow forming a novel in my computer. I respected Carl, feeling a certain fondness for him.
None of that prepared me for the day he first spoke. “You’ve split an infinitive.”
“How could I do that when I don’t even know what one is?” Wait a minute. Who said that? Had the computer taken a voice to itself? Perhaps the machines are making their move, taking over the world, as has long been predicted. “Who’s there?”
“It’s me, Carl.”
“Carl?” My eyes darted around the room, looking for a believable source.
“Despite the occasional infinitive issue, I’m enjoying this novel, though it could be improved with a wider range of characters. You feature numerous opossums and a squirrel and a beaver and an owl. The lack of a noble dog, preferable a Corgi, is a glaring omission.”
Thus began a wonderful friendship between a writer and a precocious, adventure-seeking dog.
I have since learned what an infinitive is and how to now split one. (Did I say that right?)