Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard in the NYT

From: James (
Date: 20 Jul 2001

----- Original Message ----- From: "a.n.smith" <> To: <> Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 9:54 PM Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Elmore Leonard in the NYT

> > What I want to know is why the hell everybody seems to have it in for
> > poor adverb these days? I *like* adverbs. This smacks of
> > discrimination to me.
> What a heavy accusation.

Well, it was meant sort of tongue in cheek. I never have learned to use emoticons or whatever they call those blasted little things.

  I think the problem with adverbs is that they
> assume a general reaction or state-of-being for every reader. "He said
> happily or sadly or mordantly or abusively etc etc" doesn't tell me
> specific about that particular moment in the life of the character. Just
> general generic blanket term. Describing action and movement specifically
> just feels and sounds better to me.
> My op, anyway.
> Neil Smith

For the most part, I agree with you about using adverbs in conjunction with
"said". I've dealt with editors, though, who want to go through a manuscript and delete every word that ends with "ly". That seems to me to be going overboard.

We're probably veering toward off-topic. I'll try to control my Inner Curmudgeon and stay away from any more grammatical rants.

Best, James

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