Good words, right order.

Jan. 25, 2010 3 Comments Posted under: Blog

Chocolate Chip CookiesPhoto by lara604

I’ve just come from reading a clear and concise e-book titled “The Road to Hell is Paved with Adverbs.” This book deals with the usage of adverbs in writing.

Patrick McLean, whom I first encountered as the author of the podcast ‘The Seanachai,’ has an excellent approach to information delivery. I’m going to make an assumption here and say that it’s probably a result of his years in advertising, which means trying to deliver information and emotion in a confined space where nobody really wants to listen to you anyway.

For a person or company to market effectively value must be provided in every interaction. This value is provided by good content. When I talk about this subject I get a lot of smiles and head nods. But very few people implement.
– Patrick E. McLean

In any event, if you are interested in writing — whether it be fiction, copywriting, or letters to your maiden aunt — I wholeheartedly recommend that you read this e-book. Then you’ll be able to note just how many unnecessary adverbs I’ve used in this post … I assure you, I’ve been paying much better attention since perusing Patrick’s book.

I’m also extremely jealous of his url. Wish I’d thought of that one!


This entry was posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010 at 11:32 am and is filed under Blog. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Verbivore said:

    Jun. 4, 2010

    Heidi: Hey — found your site and like it!

    I also enjoyed that adverbs book and agree with its message.

    Something that annoys me is the growing use of adjectives where adverbs ought to be used; this seems to be a particularly US-English phenomenon, as in the former Apple Computer tag line “think different” (think differentLY!, please). (And yes, I’m otherwise an Apple Mac fan. :-)

  2. Heidi Breton said:

    Jun. 4, 2010

    Hey, Verbivore!

    Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

    It seems to me that there is a bit of a backlash from the overuse of adverbs resulting in an under-use. It’s been so drilled into people that adverbs are bad, they’re having trouble reconciling to using them in the appropriate places.

    It reminds me of the horror some people feel when you end a sentence with a preposition.


  3. Verbivore said:

    Jun. 6, 2010

    [quote]It reminds me of the horror some people feel when you end a sentence with a preposition.[/quote]
    Ah yes, that old chestnut. It was a “rule” that a master of the English language, Winston Churchill (recommended reading!), would not put up with.

    “[...] up with which I will not put!” was his reply to some editorial interference on the matter of a terminal preposition. :-)

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