Sunday, January 29, 2012

where have you gone?

i am on a mission to save adverbs.

it seems like adverbs are all but disappearing from the english language. i, for one, blame the writers, or, more accurately, the people giving the writers advice. do you know how many times i have read "advice" telling me to avoid adverbs while writing? that falling prey to them puts you in the category of writers that tell instead of show? i can't even count the number of people who have given the editing advice of, "take out all the adverbs." but what i want to know is why? why should we take out the adverbs but leave the adjectives? how is describing a noun any better than describing a verb?

you may have noticed the outcome of all this advice. adjectives have gotten too cocky. they are making plans to take over the world... or at least the english language. there is no more time to waste. we must stop them.

how long has it taken us to realize that 'fast', an adjective, killed 'quickly', an adverb, and is now recognized as an adjective and an adverb? exactly when did people first start championing good over well? why are we now okay with eating healthier instead of eating more healthily (besides the fact that the second one now sounds weird)? we no longer shop smartly, we now shop smarter. how many adverbs do we have to lose before we put an end to this? i mean, sure, adjectives are usually shorter, but have we really gotten so lazy that we can't add a few syllables to every sentence?

do the right thing. use adverbs regularly, proudly, and well.

*Mrs. Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel


  1. I use adverbs... I love adverbs... they let me use common words and make them interesting - like said.... "said slyly" or "softly" r "cruelly"... possibilities are endless

  2. anonymous hippopotamusJanuary 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    i wanted to like your comment hannah and then realized thats only a facebook feature. lol

    i am embarrassed to say i have no idea what adverbs :D but im sure i use them because i always use slyly, softly, cruelly, etc. and i've been trying to say im doing well instead of im doing good since 12th grade. :D

  3. adverbs are to verbs what adjectives are to nouns.

  4. They describe a verb basically... It tells you how that verb was carried out and they almost always end with -ly