10 April 2007

Get your adverb here!

Last week a friend of mine sent me YouTube files from School House Rock. When we worked together, we’d joke about them, but she now uses them in her classroom. Never underestimate the power of the 70s!

My all-time favorite is Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverb Here! In re-watching the 3 minute clip, I remembered why I love adverbs so much.

Come on down to Lolly's, get the adverbs here!
You're going to needIf you write or read,Or even think about it.

An adverb is a word
(That's all it is! And there's a lot of them)
That modifies a verb,
(Sometimes a verb and sometimes)
It modifies an adjective, or else another adverb
And so you see that it's positively, very, very necessary.

You always hear about how Stephen King doesn't use them or how you shouldn't have them in your ms. Why? They’re great words, and often make the sentence you want that much more descriptive. I'm not a fan of the overly flowery sentences that clearly needed to be cut in fourths to make sense. And I think using them isn't a matter of looking in the thesaurus and 'inserting here' just for the hell of it.

But you think with adverbs, and you use them in speech, so why shouldn't they be in an ms. that normal people who also speak and think that way are going to read?

What's your view? Spartan and minimalist? Or descriptive? Or don't you care?