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.


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 as follows: (more…)