C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Death to Adverbs

An editor sent me a pdf today so I could check my column for an upcoming mag issue.* I made a small change and then, startled, stared hard at the first paragraph again. Had I really written, “She asked me demandingly, “BLAHBLAHBLAH…”?!

I sent the editor a note that I really needed that to change to “she demanded…” whiningly.

He came back with, “Can you demand a question?” (inquisitively)

I e-mailed back, “Sure. Demanded catches her demeanor but you can demand an answer in the form of a question.” (breezily)

And even if you can’t do that grammatically I don’t care. I trust my ear over grammatic semantics and there’s a time to use an adverb like “demandingly.” That time is never or two weeks after the sun explodes. (he said defiantly)

Not sure. I’ll go look it up. (assiduously)

 BONUS:

Folks in the magazine business always call it “the book” not the “issue.” I always suspiciously thought that betrayed insecurity on their part.

Filed under: grammar, writing tips, , , ,

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