R.I.P. Adverb

Adverb, one of the most misunderstood parts of speech, was laid to rest yesterday following the Red Sox post game show. I’d seen it coming for more than five years. Quickly had turned into quick or even fast.  Well became good. Poorly devolved into poor.

Last night, for a solid half hour, sportscasters on a major sports channels, NESN or maybe, ESPN — honestly, I do not remember which station it was, but all of them massacre the language with equal verve — talked about the game. At no point did any of these professional announcers use an adverb, regardless of context, nor how appropriate an adverb would have been.

English: A visual depiction of the various gra...

“Where have all the adverbs gone?” I cried, despair in my heart  It was like chalk on a blackboard. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I ached to reach through the screen, shake them, and scream:”USE SOME DAMNED ADVERBS, YOU MORONS. HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF ADVERBS?” No. They haven’t.

In my heart, I know it is too late. Adverb is dead. All that remains is to hold his funeral.

Adverb was predeceased by Semi-colon and Subjunctive Tense. I fear for Colon . The population of remaining Colons may be reduced beyond the point of no return.

Please donate generously to the Save Grammar for Future Generations Foundation. We need to preserve the few remaining parts of speech lest our descendants never experience the richness of a properly constructed sentence.

Oh, who am I kidding? It’s a lost cause.

Farewell Adverb. I loved you well.

– – –

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

10 thoughts on “R.I.P. Adverb”

  1. Hall of Fame Sportscaster, Vin Scully, should be invited to deliver the eulogy for adverb and his/her grammar family. Scully, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster for 62 years and counting, should be MUST listening for any aspiring sportscaster. Scully is one of the original “word painters” beginning with his radio accounts of the Brooklyn “Bums” when the grass was green. Tapes of Vin Scully’s games are now part of the Smithsonian and Baseball’s Hall of Fame treasures. Adverb and family are duly remembered.


  2. This is such a great post! I am forever noting, critiquing, criticizing slaughters of the English language! Doesn’t anyone know how to diagram sentences anymore?!


  3. You wrote this real good. If they was going to get it right they would of a long time ago. is it possible that in sports games the ball has been dropped, like, permanent? … Thanks for sharing your angst. My brother and I have ongoing moaning sessions about the diabolical state of the English language among the supposedly educated broadcasters in the media. I gave up hoping for change a long time ago and focus on what I can do to ensure English is used proper. 😉


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