|SPECIAL EDITION||UWF WRITING LAB|
-Ly, -ly, -ly, -ly
By Mamie Webb Hixon
Singers tune up with the third tone of the diatonic scale: mi, mi, mi, mi.
At the beginning of a business week, I recommend that administrators, business executives, and office workers tune up—with _ly, -ly, -ly, -ly.
That way, their day will not run smooth. It will run smoothly.
Their well-organized office will not operate as efficient as possible. It will operate as efficiently as possible.
The staff will not read information careful. They will read it carefully.
The boss will treat all employees fairly, not fair.
And all personnel will not perform their tasks as quick as possible. They will perform their tasks as quickly as possible.
After all, these business execs and office workers are active. Therefore, their activeness, as expressed by the verbs run, operate, read, treat, perform, etc., should be described accurately with an adverb.
As the Grammar Rock song says, "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here."
"Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here!"
TWO ADVERB DILEMMAS
In recognition of a company's seventy-fifth anniversary in
the city, a sign is printed. On it will be printed the company's name,
followed by the phrase "serving our community" and, in bold
print, these three words:
Is the sign grammatically correct?
Road signs sprinkled liberally throughout Oklahoma read DRIVE FRIENDLY. Probably because the word friendly ends in -ly, someone thought that it belongs with words like safely, cautiously, and carefully. DRIVE CAREFULLY works, so why not DRIVE FRIENDLY?
Can you make a case for "Drive Friendly"?
Commonly Mispronounced Words
"Writing to Express, Not Impress!"
Anybody can sound impressive:
Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.
Abstention from any aleatory undertakings precludes potential escalation of any lucrative nature.
Phillip Broughton makes this point of using writing to impress very clear with his "Systematic Buzz-phrase Projector." To use it, randomly select any three-digit number from the list on the right — it's like playing Play 3 in the Florida Lottery.
Each number you select will produce a word from each column creating a tremendously impressive phrase. For instance, the number 330 produces "parallel reciprocal options," a phrase which may sound very impressive in a business report, but doesn't say anything. This kind of writing is writing to impress; however, professionals should write to express, not impress.
Philip S. Broughton, "Criteria for the Evaluation of Printed Matter," American Journal of Public Health, 30 Sept. 1980, 1027-32.
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