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The adverb is one of the most talked about parts of speech amongst writers. Pick up most writing books, and it will tell you that using adverbs should be avoided like the plague. Stephen King goes as far as saying that the road to hell is paved with adverbs.The argument consist of the following:-Adverbs are the sign of weak writing, particularly weak verbs. Why speak loudly when you should just yell?-They tell instead of show.-It's the lazy way. Ex.) He gazed at her tenderly vs. He gazed at her, brushing a wisp of hair off her face.-They provide redundant information. Ex.) He yelled loudly. She ran quickly.-They make the prose sound purple.
This side claims that murdering adverbs is just part of the current trend of our fast-moving, text-messaging, tweeting society. We want writing to be as succinct as possible. We don't have time to read all the flowery prose that the 1940s writers employed.Their argument:-Sometimes the adverb might be the absolute right work for the situation. Ex.)What would "through a glass, darkly" be without the adverb?-Without adverbs and the other redheaded step child (dialogue tags), we're reduced to said, asked, and stated. Snore.-Sometimes its hard to find a verb that fits what you're trying to say. Ex.) whispered loudly--you could say "said in a loud whisper" but if we're trying to be brief, what's better-The general reading public are not bothered by them. Some of the bestsellers (most notably Twilight and Harry Potter) are notorious adverb abusers.Case in point:
Unexpectedly, he was on his feet, bounding away, instantly out of sight, onlyto appear beneath the same tree as before, having circled the meadow in a half second.
“As if you could outrun me,” he laughed bitterly.
He reached up with one hand and, with a deafening crack, effortlessly ripped a two-foot-thick branch from the trunk of the spruce.
… I’d never seen him so completely freed of that carefully cultivated facade. … His lovely eyes seemed to glow with rash excitement. Then, as the seconds passed, they dimmed. His expression slowly folded into a mask of ancient sadness.
“Don’t be afraid,” he murmured, his velvet voice unintentionally seductive.
… He sat sinuously, with deliberately unhurried movements, till our faces were on the same level, just a foot apart.
– Excerpted from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, pages, 264-265 (source)