About the author...

MWhere I’ll be:M

Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230

----------

I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

One More Time Into the Breach

I will never cease in the war on adverb hatred!

One of the absolute finest writers of all time, Ursula K. Le Guin, in her latest post at the Book View Café (of which I believe she is a founder):

“Without egg, Madame,” he said softly, almost unreproachfully, and went away to fetch my eggless breakfast, which he brought and set before me with silent, funereal dignity.

“…he said softly, almost unreproachfully…” Go ahead, try to get rid of those adverbs without destroying the power and grace of the sentence. And they’re even in a dialog tag!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it until every person on Earth has heard me: To avoid a word simply because it is an adverb is no better than to use it simply because it is an adverb.

2 comments to One More Time Into the Breach

  • Excellent post! I hate that so many writers are so willing to follow “the rules”. It’s easy to eliminate the adverb from, “He ran swiftly”. That’s a no-brainer, but there are a million examples like the one you highlighted that aren’t so easy to excise. I also think dialogue tags can be very effective in comedic writing. Mark Twain did it all the time.

    • I must admit that while the circumstances that would call for “He ran swiftly” would be rather rare, I would still, in those circumstances, use it. “Almost unreproachfully,” however, is pure genius.

      Thanks for your comment! :)