Sunday, July 7, 2013


I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because it helps me avoid horrifying grammar mistakes ... gosh darned auto-correct! Two, to or too? Anyone? Epic fail. L

ADJECTIVE OR ADVERB - If you’ve read many writing reference books, the use of adverbs is covered quite often, usually in a negative way. Most but not all adverbs are formed by adding ly to an adjective. Words such as loudly, quickly, lovingly and carefully are frowned upon. The adverbial tail is the tendency of writers to be as descriptive as possible. It’s also considered ‘lazy writing’. Given that adverbs aren’t looked upon favorably (look at the adverb!) the adjective doesn’t fare much better. Take Snoopy’s (the cartoon dog and holiday TV special) example of ‘it was a dark and stormy night’. It’s not difficult to take any old noun-verb combo, add a sprinkle of adjectives and think it’s great writing. While you’re at it, throw in a few adverbial tails, a trope and a cliché here and there. You get the idea. Want to use an adverb or adjective? Why not? I say, if it makes sense, do it. If you’re in the first draft, turn off that pesky editor who lives inside your head and don’t be afraid to use anything. Write with wild abandon. You’re going to have to see how it all hangs together in the final version anyway. Related to today’s post on grammar, I am familiarizing myself with a new resource, a site called Grammerly. You can use it as a MS Word add-on. When I pasted text and pressed review--some results for prepositions, parallelism and structure came up. Still, I had to look at these findings critically and make decisions, about what stays and what goes. This won’t replace your good writing skills, an editor or a proofreader. But, it’s a second set of eyes. In this age of self-publishing many writers can put a resource such as this one to good use. 

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