Like, Adverbs, You Know?

While Yagoda may not seem to hate adverbs in the way he does nouns, the rest of the writing world seems to disagree. As laughable as all the presented quotes on adverbs are, it’s ironic that none of those being quoted could seem to properly deride adverbs without using the loathsome part of speech in their sentences. While Yagoda understands that adverbs can be a “crutch,” he also admits in When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It, that they can be “a tool necessary for expressing a multitude of meanings.” It was particularly interesting to me how much he liked the word “like.” When I moved to California two years ago, I immediately discovered the frequency of “likes” that fly around on a Santa Barbara college campus. I even started a game where I would count how many occurred in a single sentence; there were just so many. In this time, I have also met a girl who was self-conscious to the point of being apologetic of how often she injected “you know” into her sentences. She fully believed that, instead of using them as fillers, she was just really concerned with making sure the other person understood what she was saying. Luckily, there are articles out on the Internet that can help people fix their like addiction. However, the article leaves out one of like’s denotations to mean “as if,” (i.e. it was like the sun was shining through her eyes).

Another adverb that I found interesting was the versatile “only.” I have come across similar examples before that challenge the reader to put “only” anywhere in a sentence and still have it make sense. It makes me think of the motto YOLO. “Only” can be transported anywhere around in the phrase and it still makes grammatical sense:

You Only Live Once
Only You Live Once
You Live Only Once
You Live Once Only (this seems to be the odd one out)

My personal favorite, however, is the Yoda version:
Only Once You Live


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