Saturday, January 13, 2007

Technical Topic - Adverbs of Merit

Strong Adverbs

Adverbs are unhappy if continually seconded to shore up weak verbs.

Not – ran quickly. But – Raced or speeded. Not – fell clumsily. But – stumbled or tripped.

Clear those extraneous adverbs out from underfoot.

What adverbs really like to do is contrast with their verb, or add something unexpected. Adverbs love to pair with a perky verb that's doing all the work it possibly can. Then the adverb twists its tail.

Raced inanely. Speeded futilely. Tripped open-handed. Stumbled slyly


  1. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Thanks Joanna. My CP insists that all adverbs are vermin and should not be used but I have always felt that an adverb used correctly can make a sentence.


  2. Hi Cas --

    Have faith in your own opinion. If you've stopped and looked at your adverb and you know it's improving the sentence -- go with it.

    The bad adverbs are
    those that suck up next to the verb 'said',
    cliche adverbs,
    and yer generally flabby fellows like pretty, very, somewhat, rather . . .