To be or to not be?

One of the classic grammar peeves which surprisingly does not upset me is the split infinitive. I think I would be very inclined to vehemently dislike it were it not for my technical background, where being scrupulously clear on meaning is actually useful rather than needlessly pedantic. To give an example:–

Cicero thought it immoral not to be self-controlled.
Cicero thought it immoral to not be self-controlled.

The first means practically the same as the second, but with a slight shift in meaning. The grammar pedants would jump on the latter and rephrase it to the former, in this case causing no problems. On the other hand, in this instance–

The right of the council of Geneva was to not employ heretics.
The right of the council of Geneva was not to employ heretics.

the first sentence is a strong statement about the admirable stand the council was allowed to take, while the latter tells us nothing about what the council got up to, except that it did not include employing heresy, very clearly different meanings. In some more delicate situations, perhaps involving long sentences reduced using notation, the contrapositive re-arrangement which lets us phrase the first meaning without split infinitive can be more confusing to write (although in the above case ‘The council of Geneva was forbidden to be required to employ heretics’ is simple enough). Hence, I am usually happy with split infinitives because the construction overall is required for a neat English (or at least, mathematical English). I should also add that I am normally opposed to artificial grammar rules as well, and this is a prime example of ex nihilo regularisation.

Further, this sort of thing happens in real uses too. Imagine, motivationally, the difference between adjuration to not pursue and adjuration not to pursue. Whatever was actually impressed on us, our linguistic brains can munge what was said and leave us temporarily disorientated over what course to take. Words are fickle, though no more than we are.