You’re not alone. I wondered why adverbs were the great sin of writing. With overuse, they can be obnoxious, I get that. But they can be helpful too. Your post clarified the when to/when not to use. Thank you!
The next item from the “Do Not Do” list (posted January 10th of this year):
Eliminate adverbs, especially those with the dreaded -ly ending.
Adverbs with the -ly ending should be used sparingly. This sentence prompts the question, Why?
The sparing use of adverbs improves writing. Although this sentence also asks a question, (How?), the strength of the construction is declarative: a statement of fact rather than mere suggestion.
Adverbs exist for a reason; they are used to modify and strengthen a verb, but often -ly adverbs only add redundancy or offer a weak alternative to a stronger verb choice.
She turned quickly. Alone this sentence is adequate, but nothing more.
A better way may be to write Nancy spun (or pivoted, or whirled), or perhaps show the action–Nancy’s hair whipped across her shoulders when she turned [spun, pivoted, whirled].
The goal is…
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