-ly adverbs

Luckily, most of us know better than to use too many adverbs, especially in an annoyingly awful way. When I teach my classes, people are awed when I propose (in creatively fashion) that too many adverbs make your otherwise excitingly written work especially boring. When authors unwittingly use too many -ly adverbs, they often find themselves utterly reducing the amount of incredibly amazing “showing” and instead producing paragraphs of really dull “telling.” I’ve heard -ly adverbs accurately described as lazy writing, but clearly there’s more to this naturally easy way of describing action and emotion than through an author’s quickly written description. Sadly, however, many people can’t quit their addiction to -ly adverbs, even though it’s terribly difficult to read through passages and passages of simply-written script that doesn’t completely convey what is happening in an effectively written way. So if you are considering using -ly adverbs in a significantly expressive way, please consider possibly more interesting alternatives. Thankfully, there are many.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “-ly adverbs

  1. Wittingly written, Kim, and thoroughly enjoyed! 🙂

  2. K.L. Gore

    Ha! Thanks, Joan.

  3. Steve

    What a lovely thought.

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