The "split verb rule" says that an adverb must not be placed between an auxiliary and the following verb. On this account, you should never write "you should never write", but rather "you never should write". In an earlier post, I followed (what I thought was) the lead of James Lindgren ("Fear of Writing", California Law Review 78(6):1677-1702, 1990) in attributing this bizarre idea to The Texas Law Review Manual on Style. But in a comment this evening, Jon Weinberg cited Allen Black, "Judge Wisdom, the Great Teacher and Careful Writer", 109 Yale L.J. 1267 (1999-2000):
He was death on split infinitives and split verbs. A sentence such as "The burdened vessel was slowly proceeding down river at the time of the collision" would never survive.
Since John Minor Wisdom would have learned his attitudes towards such things in the 1920s, and the Texas Law Review's Manual does not seem to have appeared until the 1950s, Jon suggested that we need to look elsewhere for the source of this peculiar prejudice. And indeed, a quick Google Books search turns up a more promising source – Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler, The King's English, 1908, section 46 on "'Split' Auxiliaries":
Some writers, holding that there is the same objection to split compound verbs as to split infinitives, prefer to place any adverb or qualifying phrase not between the auxiliary and the other component, but before both.
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