Tag Archives: language

Authors Answer 126 – Is It Really Possible to Stop Using Adverbs?

Actually, the most overused adverb may well be “never”.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Adverbs are something that people love to use in everyday speech. It’s very popular. But what about in writing? Do we really need to avoid using adverbs? Honestly?

Question 126 – Never use adverbs. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Disagree. I will concur that many writers these days rely far too heavily on adverbs, leaning on them instead of putting the effort into creating more descriptive prose. That said, every form of word has it’s place, and you can’t just discount adverbs all together. “Show, don’t tell,” is what’s often said, and I agree with that for the most part, but sometimes what is necessary for a scene is for the author to tell the reader exactly what’s happening. For example, if the narrating character has been struck blind for some reason, they’re not going to be able to describe the facial expressions or body…

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Has the English language become inherently cynical?

I needed to write a description of a character the other day and started with the word “moralistic”, but thought there might be a better word so I looked for synonyms.

It’s possible that I didn’t look hard enough, but as far as I am aware, the English language does not have a single adjective that means either “thinking and talking about morality a lot” (which was what I was looking for) or “advocating moral concepts” that doesn’t either directly suggest hypocrisy, or have a conflicting alternate definition.

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