Adverbs to avoid

Enormously, suddenly, hugely, vaguely. I don’t know about you, but those are all polyfilla words for me.

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3 Responses to Adverbs to avoid

  1. Rupert says:

    They have a certain savour if used to clash the reader’s mental gearbox. I remember the Blackadder line “We dined hugely off the servants” (*) with fondness, and there’s a place in my heart for lines like “She entered the room enormously”.


    (* “You eat your servants?” “No, man, we eat off them. Why have furniture when you have a perfectly good butler?” etc.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Recently, my eager, new editor at the Telegraph faxed me the paper’s style book. It’s the first time I’ve seen it, even though I’ve written for the paper for eight years.

    It includes the following gems:

    – all people mentioned must have titles; women must be Miss or Mrs, so you must enquire as to their marital status when you speak to them

    – foreign terms are “perfectly good in foreign newspapers – not acceptable in ours”.

    – however accents in foreign names must be included correctly

    – and, my favorite, the list of banned words: situation, doubtless, overall, yuppie, bubbly (bottled), tycoon, hopefully, scenario


  3. Rupert says:

    At least they have mastered the facsimile machine.


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