SoCS — Adverbs

D565E643-654E-4772-8799-BCA48E331BC7Interestingly, Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt this week asks us to start our post with any adverb that ends in “-ly.” She even offers us bonus points if we end our post in an adverb, as well.

First of all, let’s define the word adverb. “An adverb is a part of speech used to describe a verb, adjective, clause, or another adverb. It simply tells the readers how, where, when, or the degree at which something was done.”

Apparently, the biggest issue with adverbs is that people tend to overuse them. Some say that of all of the parts of speech, adverbs are the most likely to clutter your sentences pointlessly. Therefore, it is often suggested that writers should use adverbs sparingly.

(Hey wait. Aren’t “apparently,” pointlessly,” and “sparingly” adverbs? Oh crap. I just cluttered up my last paragraph by using three adverbs in just three sentences.)

I remember reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, where he goes on and on about how he feels about adverbs. I was surprised by his strong feelings. He admonishes writers to minimize, if not eliminate, their use of adverbs by suggesting that “adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind.”

King famously wrote:

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late.”

Personally, I think Stephen King overuses ellipses…as do I.

I have nothing against adverbs. I don’t use them often, but I do use them in my writing. And I don’t think of myself as a timid writer.

But I’m not a best-selling author, like Stephen King. In fact, I’m not an author at all. I’m not even sure I’d call myself a writer. I’m just a blogger who writes posts on my personal blog.

So, as the old song goes, it’s my blog and I’ll adverb if I want to, despite how Stephen King feels.

And now I need to end my post with an adverb ending in “-ly” in order to earn my bonus points. I will write my last sentence excitedly.

45 thoughts on “SoCS — Adverbs

  1. bwcarey February 9, 2019 / 3:14 am

    in a nutshell, as Jesus said about the pharisee’s of the day, they use the right language, but their example is rarely the same, over using praise puts people on pedestals i suppose, or do we actually mean what we say, after a grief associated with an idol, so many utter the words, but few ever mean them, amen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. robertawrites235681907 February 9, 2019 / 3:49 am

    Haha, Jolly good post. I don’t have a hate campaign going for adverbs either. I love Mr King’s books which do contain plenty of adverbs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 9, 2019 / 8:00 am

      I’m trying to cut back bigly on writing about him. It’s not good for my mental or physical health.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hélène - Willow Poetry February 9, 2019 / 8:04 am

    You sure write them perfectly Fandango. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. J-Dub February 9, 2019 / 8:35 am

    Wonderfully done. Off to look up ellipses. He does overuse the words “hunkered down”. You’ll find that in all his stories. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. aczechelski February 9, 2019 / 11:50 am

    I think cutting out adverbs is unnecessarily limiting. They’re useful for clarity, as in my last sentence, especially when they’re used in a counter-intuitive way. As in “she joyfully plodded up the broken escalator.” That sentence would have a completely different meaning without the adverb.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jami Carder February 9, 2019 / 8:06 pm

    You are not the first person to mention this Stephen King book. I think I need to read it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 9, 2019 / 8:37 pm

      You should. Just skip the section on adverbs.


    • Fandango February 9, 2019 / 10:30 pm

      Sometimes it seems that way. All replaced by emojis. 😢


  7. A. Nonymous February 9, 2019 / 10:31 pm

    My favorite sentence : “Therefore, it is often suggested that writers should use adverbs sparingly.” Adverbs, pronoun as a subject (double points: “it”), and the final word, “sparingly.”

    Did not think we would notice, did you?

    The Grammar Nazis will be after you for this! 😉😏🧐

    Liked by 1 person

      • A. Nonymous February 9, 2019 / 10:54 pm

        It won’t be the last. It could happen again. It could swallow all other sentences. It could go viral.

        It could be really, really, really annoying to some people. It could topple governments and end the world.

        It could be very, very, very bad!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 9, 2019 / 11:50 pm

      You know words. You have the best words!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.