Hello! What happened to the "ly" version of adver

You have words - now what do you do with them?
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Hello! What happened to the "ly" version of adver

Postby CapeCodder » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:15 pm

First, I want to express my joy at finding this wonderful site. It's great to be here.

Just a few years ago, I woke up and found that the "ly" form of the adverb disappearing from television. Everyone seemed to be saying things like "drive safe" or "walk slow" and it wasn't limited to these two expressions.

Did I miss some announcement that deleting "ly" would save gazillions of dollars or help stamp out malaria or worse was a government edict?

Dis anyone else notoce the change? Comment? :?

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Postby Apoclima » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:52 pm

Yes, I have noticed the trend, and I find it deplorable!

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Postby KatyBr » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:15 pm

you are correct about the cure for malaria, someone decided the economy of speech could be redirected into research for a cure for mosquito-related diseases.
I agree with your assessment :lol:


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Postby tcward » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:39 am

I expect it's a common misunderstanding that the verb be and other verbs would all be modified the same way... but what they aren't getting is that you can only be an adjective, and you can only do something adverbially.


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Postby Brazilian dude » Sun Nov 27, 2005 11:14 am

flat adverb A flat adverb is an adverb that has the same form as its related adjective: fast in "drive fast," slow in "go slow," sure in "you sure fooled me, " bright in "the moon is shining bright," flat in "she turned me down flat," hard and right in "he hit the ball hard but right at the shortstop." Flat adverbs have been a problem for grammarians and schoolmasters for a couple of centuries now, and more recently usage writers have continued to wrestle with them.

Flat adverbs were more abundant and used in greater variety formerly than they are now. They were used then as ordinary adverbs and as intensifiers:

... commanding him incontinent to avoid out of his realm and to make no war - Lord Berners, translation of Froissart's Chronicles, 1523

... Iwas horrid angry, and would not go - Samuel Pepys, diary, 29 May 1667

... the weather was so violent hot - Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, 119

... the five ladies were monstrous fine - Jonathan Swift, Journal to Stella, 6 Feb. 1712

... I will not be extreme bitter - William Wycherly, The Country Wife, 1675

You would be hard pressed to find modern examples of these particular uses.

Originally such adverbs had not been identical with adjectives; they had been marked by case endings, but over the course of Middle English the endings disappeared. The 18th-century grammarians, such as Lowth 1762, explain how these words were adverbs. They saw them as adjectives, and they considered it a grammatical mistake to use an adjective for an adverb. They preferred adverbs ending in -ly.

Two centuries of chipping away by schoolmasters and grammarians has reduced the number of flat adverbs in common use and has lowered the status of quite a few others. Many continue in standard use, but most of them compete with an -ly form. Bernstein 1971, for instance, list such pairs as bad, badly; bright, brightly; close, closely; fair, fairly; hard, hardly; loud, loudly; right, rightly; sharp, sharply; tight, tightly. Many of these pairs have become differentiated, and now the flat adverb fits in some expressions while the -ly adverb goes in others. And a few flat adverbs - fast and soon, for instance - have managed to survive as the only choice.

From Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage.

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Postby Apoclima » Sun Nov 27, 2005 5:43 pm

Flat adverbs are so retro!

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