-LY: A Forlorn Remembrance

I miss adverbs of the -ly variety.

In writing, some tell us to rewrite in order to avoid adverbs as an entire part of speech, much less the -ly ones. OK, I get that. If we take the time when writing or editing we can refine a [VERB + ADVERB] combination into a stronger standalone verb. Or describe more in context to avoid the need for modifiers.  Stephen King has a great rant about adverbs in this excerpt from his On Writing book.

On the other hand, people are dropping the -ly in their speech yet keeping the rest of the word, thereby not reforming their sentences to use a stronger verb, and it pains me.


  • “Drive safely” versus “Drive safe”.
  • “Walk carefully” versus “Walk careful”.
  • “Run quickly” versus “Run quick” versus “Run fast”.

To me, it boils down to choosing to retain -ly version based on whether I use an existence verb or an action verb.

One can “[BE] [ ADVERB]”, but really, one should most often “[DO SOMETHING] [ADVERB-LY]”.


She IS a SAFE driver, but she DRIVES SAFELY.

Then on the third hand {yeeees, maybe I do have three, thank you very much}, while I still love Schoolhouse Rock’s Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get Your Adverbs Here , it’s more of a sentimental thing at this point because I now want to edit most of the clip. Thanks Mr. King, thanks a lot.



Written by Becca

Becca loves (in no particular order, ok, the husband comes first, probably) triking, Jeeping, her Spinone, her husband, and his sooper-dooper cutie-patootie of a mutt. The universe presented an opportunity on a platter and, not being one to deny the universe, she’s now taking the chance to chase a dream by transforming from accidental geek to intentional writer.

Now time for the shameless plugs. Please see also her site with her husband about their motorcycle (and some Jeeping) travels, Chasing Blue Sky, and Becca’s site as a Real Estate Broker in Colorado, SpinOne Group.