Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ranting About Adverb Hating, Again

I was reading a list of self-editing tips that a writer friend shared on Facebook, but I couldn't get past the advice of "axe the adverbs". I'm SO sick of all this hatred of adverbs shown by so many of today's writers and editors (I blame Stephen King). I say it's more a stylistic choice than anything else! Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I prefer reading fiction written years ago over much of the fiction being written today.

Adverbs were considered a perfectly legitimate part of speech until writers like Stephen King came along and proclaimed them evil incarnate. Apparently, writers can't really think on their own and believe Stephen King and other adverb haters to be gods of writing, so the non-use of adverbs has become something of a writing rule written in stone.

Last I knew, as successful a writer as Stephen King is, he doesn't walk on water. Last I knew, adverbs remain an acknowledged and accepted part of speech, along with nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

If a writer decides to cut using adverbs in his or her own works, that's fine. However, it's a bit much to then tell other writers they should never use adverbs. Unfortunately, this hatred of adverbs has been around long enough that you have a number of writers and editors who have leapt wholeheartedly onto the "adverbs are evil" bandwagon. (Yes, I just used an adverb there!)

What's next, declaring prepositions as unnecessary and unusable?

My ultimate response to all this adverb hatred remains making reference to that Schoolhouse Rock segment "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here".

C'mon, everybody, sing along!

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