Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Don’t Construct Awkward Adverbs

Tuesday’s Writing Tips 

The Elements of Style

It’s time for another writing tip from the book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Don’t construct awkward adverbs.

Adverbs are easy to build. Take an adjective or a participle, add -ly, and behold! you have an adverb. But you’d probably be better off without it. Don’t write tangledly. The word itself is a tangle. Don’t even write tiredly. Nobody says tangledly or tiredly. Words that are not used orally are seldom the ones to put on paper.

NO: He climbed tiredly to bed.

YES: He climbed wearily to bed.

NO: The lamp cord lay tangledly beneath her chair.

YES: The lamp cord lay in tangles beneath her chair.

Don’t dress words up by adding -ly to them, as though putting a hat on a horse.

Instead of overly, use over.

Instead of muchly, use much.

Instead of thusly, use thus.

~

typewriter-haiku

 

Today’s Haiku

Speech constricted while
paranoia wraps each word—
truth is on paper

 ~

Have a fantastic day!

~Nicole

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4 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Writing Tips: Don’t Construct Awkward Adverbs

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