I'm not talking about an ice lolly, though I'd like one right now!
I'm talking about Father, Son, and Lolly.
Not familiar with Father, Son, and Lolly? Click below!
So, those are the Lolly's. I hear they make lousy profits giving away all those adverbs. But with the economy the way it is and everyone cutting every -ly word they come across, the Lolly's are a bit hard up. They can't even afford to cut Little Lolly's hair.
Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
Allow me to say a few things in favor of the often-scorned adverb ("The road to Hell is paved with adverbs." -Stephen King)
An adverb is a word. That's all that it is and there's a lot of them.
I like adverbs.
There I said it.
When I am describing something that breaks from the normal (unusually quiet, laughed nervously, etc) I like to hug and kiss my adverbs (don’t laugh!) because they can be so beautifully concise.
It’s a Slippery Slope
The danger with adverbs is that we walk into Lolly's Inc., expecting to just pick up a couple of modifiers that we know that we already need, but if we aren't careful we come out with armfuls and armfuls of tantalizing adverbs. Actually some aren't even tantalizing, we just grabbed them because we were too lazy to figure out if we really needed it or not. Sometimes we grab them because we know we have a couple of boring verbs sitting around the house that could really use modifying (like 'ran' *yawn*- but if I add "hastily"!)
Anybody else thinking this sounds like them in Costco?
Now some people are smart and they go through everything that they have and bring back the adverbs that are excessive (Lolly's Inc. has a generous return policy.) BUT how much better if we learned not to grab some of these superfluous expenditures in the first place?
What is to be Done?
A company that Lolly Inc. has always seen as an aggressive competitor, Strong Verb Industries, recently teamed up with Tips & Tricks, a non profit, to assist people in recognizing times that they don’t actually need to “get your adverbs here.”
Below is one of their exercises:
He ran quickly to see her.
“Don’t leave me!” he pleaded pathetically.
She clearly didn’t care. She had very little to lose by carelessly turning her back.
His face burned hotly and he was really tired of playing these games.
She turned back, smiled her beautiful smile mystically and greedily took his flowers.
He was quite sure, as he watched her wolfishly walk away, his heart would never mend back together again.
-Can you locate at least one redundant adverb? (e.g. tiredly slept)
-Can you locate at least one lazy adverb? (They don’t add much to the verb e.g. so fast, very neat)
-Can you locate at least one moment of adjective/adverb overkill?
-Can you locate at least one completely unnecessary adverb?
-Can you locate the loathsome speech-tag adverbs, which get very distracting?
-Can you locate at least one bad-verb-to-start-with adverb? (Your VERB choice is weak so you compensate with an adverb. e.g. proudly walked)
ADVERBS ARE OVERDONE
Study brought to you by Strong Verb Industries. Please visit our website if you want to see a really cool list of strong verbs. CLICK HERE
Even understanding all of this I just love dropping into Lolly’s Inc. Running my fingers thoughtfully across some scrumptious adverbs, chatting pointlessly with Lolly Sr., and eyeing that intensifier I’ve really, really wanted.
Enrich Your Language with Adverbs!