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Dec 29, 2008
This week's theme
Uncommon adverbs

This week's words
seriatim
pell-mell
withal
imprimis
shilly-shally

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place." William Strunk and E.B. White wrote in their venerated Elements of Style.

Adjectives and adverbs are the black sheep of the Parts of Speech family, but there's a kernel of truth in the above quotation. Use of too many adverbs may be a sign of lazy writing. If you show, not tell, you don't need adverbs. Consider:

She ran out angrily
v.
She slammed the door and stomped out.

Typically adverbs are recognized as words ending in -ly: partly, happily, hopefully, really, virtually, and so on. But there are dozens of adverbs that don't end in -ly. This week we'll look at five less familiar adverbs.

seriatim

PRONUNCIATION:
(seer-i-AY-tim)

MEANING:
adverb: One after another; in a series.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin seriatim, from Latin series, from serere (to join). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ser- (to line up) that is also the source of words such as insert, assert, desert (to abandon), desert (a dry sandy region), sort, consort, and sorcerer.

USAGE:
"I do not have to itemize seriatim the positive transformatory effects of steady and reliable electricity supply on all aspects of our national life."
Douglas Anele; The Fumbling Continues; Vanguard (Nigeria); Dec 7, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Trust is the first step to love. -Munshi Premchand, novelist and poet (1880-1936)

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