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Sep 15, 2014
This week's theme
Adverbs

This week's words
mayhap
a fortiori
verily
perchance
lief

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The author Mark Twain once wrote, "I am dead to adverbs; they cannot excite me. To misplace an adverb is a thing which I am able to do with frozen indifference; it can never give me a pang."

Twain is not alone in dissing the adverb. From Strunk & White to Stephen King and many other writers in between, they all treat this part of speech as the pariah of the language. They sure know what they are talking about. Overuse of adverbs is a sure way to kill the writing. That said, there are times when a judicious use of the adverb works.

There are adverbs beyond hopefully, carefully, and quickly. This week we'll share five such adverbs with you.

mayhap

PRONUNCIATION:
(may-HAP, MAY-hap)

MEANING:
adverb: Perhaps.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the phrase 'it may hap', from Middle English hap, from Old Norse happ (luck, chance). Earliest documented use: 1533.

USAGE:
"The Marine motto was the 'first to fight' -- and mayhap to die."
Bing West; Bold in battle, Wily in Washington; The Washington Post; Nov 25, 2012.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There is no disguise that can for long conceal love where it exists or simulate it where it does not. -Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld, aphorist (1613-1680)

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