Posts Tagged ‘impotent adverbs’

Basically, we have to get back to basics.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

One of the most brilliant people I know had the worst adverb overuse problem I’ve encountered. He was a “basically” addict. He used basically in about 70% of his sentences, sometimes twice in the same sentence. As with most adverb overusers, he was especially prone to this habit when he was somewhat nervous, speaking in front of a large audience. His most memorable line was, “Basically, we have to get back to basics.” This sort of speaking and writing problem does not indicate a lack of intelligence or experience. It is simply a bad habit that even the smartest, most articulate among us can pick up without realizing it.

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Impotent Adverbs

Monday, September 19th, 2011

One of the most common speaking and writing problems is the overuse of empty adverbs. I call them impotent adverbs because that is what they are. Impotent is defined by Dictionary.com as follows: (more…)