I Want to Save the Adverb So Bad!!

Originally posted on September 8th, 2010

It’s more than a little challenging to be the poor neglected adverb these days.  People here are dissing it real quick and it just ain’t right. In fact, it makes me, like, wicked sad.  Now, I’m not saying that I always get it perfect myself, but I do think if we don’t start saving the adverb now, it may be real hard to recover later.“What’s the big deal? Why do we need to save it?” you ask.

First of all, without it, we don’t sound particular smart (don’t be mad, it’s true). Then our poor verbs, who are doing the heavy-lifting actions on our behalf, aren’t proper modified. Now they’re hanging out there without a freakin net! Doesn’t that sound total scary? And our adjectives, which are trying to describe everything so beautiful for us, are reduced to half their meaning.  It’s a real big bummer.

Why people are killing the adverb soft and slow, I don’t know.  To be clear, the slaughter is not from my friends and family.  It’s people on television!  People like professional actors who are being paid to speak for a living. Lately, they are frequent saying their character’s lines more adverb-free than not.
“I’m real slow to object, Your Honor, but object I must!”

Where does the  breakdown first occur?  I’m not real sure. Was the adverb first missing in the script?  Did the writers say, “Screw you adverb and your little “ly” too!”  Hmmmm… Or did the actor (while in character) make the slip and no one noticed, cared, or bothered to correct him?  So the director, the producers, the script supervisor, and the network all let it slide by?  Why? Is it laziness? Ignorance? Indifference?

I’ve heard TV presenters and even some journalist chuck their adverbs too.  This is perhaps a greater transgression since these individuals are being paid for their expertise — part of which is speaking the English language.

Then there are TV’s so-called Reality “Stars” (by the way, the word “star” is now completely meaningless since a season as The Bachelor now earns you the same label as Cary Grant — WTF?).  Anecdotal evidence supports that a large proportion of reality stars wouldn’t know an adverb if it bit them on the ass real hard.  I know these are  actual people and shouldn’t be held to the same standard as the aforementioned professionals — I’m not expecting Snookie to turn into Ted Koppel here — but I do think that we shouldn’t allow the adverb to be so forgotten that its absence becomes the norm.

Special Note: Sarah Palin, if you must stay, then will you at least get your adverbs out of your modified beehive and put them into your over-confident-for-no-reason mouth?

People all over the globe watch our TV.  Many even use it to learn to speak English. I’m not trying to sound harsh and whatnot, but I think as Americans we have a responsibility to ourselves — and the world — to not sound like total dumb asses.

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