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Jul 23, 2012
This week's theme
Adverbs

This week's words
betimes
incognito
agee
sine die
larruping

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Writers who offer writing advice have not been kind to the adverb. From Mark Twain to Stephen King to Strunk & White, they all have taken it out on this poor part of speech.

To be fair, there's a certain truth to what they say. Overuse of the adverb may indicate a failure of imagination. Too much dependence on the adverb may make the writing stilted. But judicious use of this black sheep of the parts-of-speech family may be useful at times.

Instead of softly and quickly and extremely, try this week's adverbs for a change. But use them sparingly.

betimes

PRONUNCIATION:
(bih-TYMZ)

MEANING:
adverb:
1. Sometimes; on occasion.
2. In good time; early.
3. Quickly; soon.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English bitimes, from bi (by) + time. Earliest documented use: 1314.

USAGE:
"I'm urged betimes to write something about this book or that author."
A Quest to Fix Unfair Neglect; Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Jul 19, 1998.

"Since Knott was leaving in the morning, she went to bed betimes."
Betty Neels; Roses Have Thorns; Harlequin; 2012.

See more usage examples of betimes in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A hungry man is not a free man. -Adlai Stevenson, statesman (1900-1965)

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