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Monday, July 25, 2011

Support for Calling Adverbs "Pesky"

My husband is writing a play. He is married to me, the writer. And me, the editor. That makes it difficult (sometimes) for him to hear my rants on writing better English.  But I think he finally got it because he sent me this link.

I love how the author of this article supported his take on adverbs by quoting from well known experts, but he forgot how authors can use the pesky "ly's" to their advantage. Adverbs that are not working well can usually be deleted. That's easy. But we can also turn them to metaphoric gold or simily silver.  To say nothing of letting them cue us on how to strengthen our verbs. I explain that in The Frugal Editor  (, but maybe I'll get around to posting an except on this blog someday, too.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults. and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success (How To Do It Frugally series of book for writers). Learn more about her other authors' aids at , where writers will find lists and other helps including Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog. She tweets writers' resources at . Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

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