Adverbs - It's clobberin' time!

Published by Kaij in the blog Kaij's blog. Views: 96

Yes, I watch Fantastic Four a lot. Shaddap.

Adverb: a word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word-group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree, etc.​

*takes out a baseball bat, thumping it against the palm of her hand* ...Man, that hurts after a while. *tosses bat over shoulder*

Adverbs are overused, and it's not funny. I get a headache by reading too many in just five paragraphs. Over half of them aren't even needed, thank you! Why choose an adverb when you can put in a verb or adjective that can say more? I don't like over 100 buggy eyes glaring at me through the screen. It frightens me.

Without using a lot of the -ly adverbs, you can tighten up your sentence structures. With them...it's almost like you're calling the reader stupid, because they won't figure out another word that may be better. Or heck, you may be telling us you're too lazy to use a better verb/adjective.

Not good.

Imagine going outside on the back porch. Your neighbor's house to the left has a beautiful garden with a wide array of flowers. Your neighbor's house to the right puts you to shame. Their lawn hasn't been cut in more than two weeks and the same old dandelions are marking their territory on the land.

This is how it is with adverbs. Why let them grow and spread? Why not trim them to build your own beautiful garden?

Let's read some examples of the ridiculous -ly adverbs.

  • She spoke softly.
  • He ran quickly.
  • The image is beautifully rendered.
  • John hated her immensely.

With all of these, you're telling us instead of showing anything. How soft did she speak? How fast did he run? What makes the image beautifully rendered? How bad did John hate her? Let the reader be the character for the moment. We don't care to be told what's going on, let us use our senses.

Tell me, would you rather read the above, or the below?

  • She whispered.
  • He ran faster than a cheetah on a sugar rush.
  • The image contained beauty that words couldn't describe.
  • John abhorred her.

True, a few of them are downright insane to write. But would you prefer to show the reader a bit more, or would you rather plopping an adverb down and calling it a day?

Now that you know I hate the -ly adverbs, let's delve a bit deeper into the adverb world. You already have examples on them modifying verbs, so I'll give you others.

  1. Adverbs modify adjectives. In the examples, the adjectives will be in italics, and the adverbs in boldface.
    • an openly creepy look
    • a very fun evening
    • a seriously horrendous accident
  2. Adverbs modify adverbs. In the examples, the adverbs being modified will be in italics, and the adverbs modifying that adverb is in boldface.
    • She had a regretfully lonely gaze.
    • The ballerina landed more gracefully than before.
    • That guy eats almost boorishly.
  • Cobra517
  • Kaij
  • Cobra517
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