I just got an interesting email from a concerned reader. In my novella, The Back Porch, I use the phrase “holding her close.” My reader asks:
“Shouldn’t this be ‘holding her closely’? Since ‘close’ modifies ‘holding,’ and since ‘holding’ is a verb, shouldn’t it be ‘closely,’ the adverb form?”
Actually, I have to give this reader
Continue reading Holding her close in that sweet perfection
John Doe, a cabinetmaker, was wandering through the stacks in the farthest, darkest corner of his local hardwood dealer’s lot one fine spring day, when he came upon a very old piece of old-growth cherry wood that had been lying there air-drying in that very yard for thirty years. It was four inches thick,
Continue reading The Cabinetmaker, the Photographer, the Sculptor, and the Editor
Still doing the “research”:
This is from a blog post at Language Log, where Mark Liberman quotes the abstract for a course that his colleague, Geoff Pullum, was (in 2004, unfortunately) about to teach:
Try to imagine biological education being in a state where students are taught that whales are fish because that is judged easier for
Continue reading …and another bit of the same stuff.
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
Continue reading One More Time Into the Breach
You’ve had it said to you.
You may even have said it to others. You, in the corner, slinking away, you’ll continue to say it, because you’ve heard it from better authorities than I am, so it must be true.
“Adjectives, like adverbs, are lazy words, slowpokes, tranquilizers. Watch out for them.”
–Jack M. Bickham
“Write with nouns and
Continue reading Really and Truly Hating the Adverb Hatred
Wandering slowly and aimlessly through the thickly growing vines of the cyber jungle, I happened quite unexpectedly upon yet another rant about the use of adverbs, this one (quite illogically) perpetuating the common and poorly-thought-out adage that using adverbs equals using passive voice.