The Trouble With Adverbs….

One of those writing ‘rules’ that makes me grumble into my vegetable broth and rattle my dentures is ‘kill the adverbs’. It’s the same with their old cousins ‘adjectives’; in the Game of Thrones style of editing where whole families are wiped out in one episode we are encouraged to be ruthless with those describing words – kill them all.

Sure, don’t overdo them but, as with cake, there are few recipes where you can remove sugar and achieve the desired effect. I’m with Marie Antoinette on the need for cake in ones diet. Adverbs and adjectives are not just part of our oral history, the written word needs them.

However…. But…. As a major qualification… If I hear anyone using an adjective as an adverb – ‘the boy did brilliant’ ‘that was awful good’ – I cannot be held responsible for my actions, it will be justified homicide, it will be part of the elocution branch of the Darwin Awards.Β  Philistines. Ignoramuses. Incontinent Invertebrates. Hashtag Heamaphrodites. Scabpicking Scrawlscribes.


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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21 Responses to The Trouble With Adverbs….

  1. colinandray says:

    Well I don’t got trouble with adverbs, and I ain’t got much against adjectives. My problems is with them who insist on learning me stuff to improve my grammer. I mean, if I’m like just talking to you, I don’t got no use for grammer right?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Play nice Geoff πŸ™‚

    That incidentally, is one of my pet peeves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed that post, Geoff; it was so fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gordon759 says:

    Nice to see you are channelling your inner Haddock.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. musicwaffle says:

    Try teaching grammar to Year 5 and 6 in the south of England. “We was…” and “I done …” are default ways of talking and writing. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooooh Geoff, I am with you on this one; we NEED adjectives and adverbs Even though I am diabetic, I still like a bit of sugar now and again, even though I know it is naughty! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lucciagray says:

    Writers have to make such a huge effort to be consistently and perfectly grammatical for 100,000 words times over. I really pity my editor (and my beta readers πŸ˜‰ ) It’s exhausting! I enjoy giving some of my character an ‘ungrammatical’ voice. It’s such fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. trifflepudling says:

    Yes, we need these Ad- things! A ‘speak’ which gets me is pundit speak, e.g. ‘He’s not got a left foot, actually’, then followed often by remarks like ‘But he’s picked up a thigh’, meaning he’s got a thigh injury. Own Goooaaal !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. willowdot21 says:

    That is so good a blog!! You have done us proud !


  10. Sacha Black says:

    PAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA nothing like a jolly good rant hey Geoffle. This made me roar!

    Liked by 1 person

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