Nancy Roman

Adverbally Endowed

I waited impatiently all week for my husband to say something incredibly sweet or laughingly stupid, so I’d have a really good topic for my blog, but he stubbornly refused to be sufficiently amusing.

So I had nothing. Except…

I do have the overly adverbed sentence above.

Yes, I confess.

I am an adverb addict. A truly excessive addiction.

It started very young. With two adorably smart older sisters, I resorted to highly extreme tactics to overcome what I astutely considered to be my extremely disadvantaged family position.  So I was really dramatic.

It started with ‘really’.  Dolls were not just beautiful, they were really beautiful.  Beets were not just horrible, they were really horrible. School was not just boring, it was really boring. (that one was also really true.)

And when my highly coveted little brother was born, I was really no longer even the baby. And life was really, really unfair.

But ‘really’ served me very well for a considerably long time.

In college I was extraordinarily lucky to have a roommate who was adverbally advanced. Lisa’s fabulously dramatic word was ‘absolutely’.  Our dorm room was absolutely perfect; lemons were absolutely delicious; her foreign film class absolutely life-changing. Did I adopt ‘absolutely’?  Absolutely.

Throughout my happily successful adulthood, I’ve branched out significantly. My supply of adverbs is amazingly bountiful.

And why, you might curiously ask?

Exactly like all addictions, adverbialism is definitely a sickness.  But it is a joyously optimistic sickness, except for when it is passionately sad. It is truly the manic-depression of expression.

For the hopelessly addicted like me, mere verbs and adjectives cannot adequately express my enormously deep thoughts.

That, and incessantly reading Tom Swift books as a child.

Recently, there was an app on Facebook that interestingly analyzed your posts to see what words you consistently write. For me, I repeatedly used ‘I’, ‘myself’, ‘very’, and ‘really’.  Ego and adverbs – that’s definitely me.

And my utterly favorite adverb?  ‘Quite’ of course.  As in Not Quite Old.



  1. And if you lived in England, you could add ‘rather’ and ‘ever so’, as in:

    I rather liked that film. It was ever so interesting.


    • I use ‘rather’ – maybe because I’m from New England.


  2. I have the same sickness. I don’t think people will get what I really, really mean without an adverb.


  3. I really enjoyed this! I use them way too much and it’s very very hard to give up that habit. I always think of Stephen King who said, “the road to hell is paved with adverbs” I find myself going down that road quite often.


    • I read that from King. I found it enormously depressing.


  4. RVingGirl

    This was a terribly interesting post. You use adverbs in a frightfully unique way and you have me seriously impressed!
    Fun, no, I mean extremely fun!


  5. “Extraordinarily” is my favorite. It’s just ever so frightfully wonderful. I won’t give it up.


    • Extraordinarily is a exceptionally wonderful word.


  6. May your recovery from adverb addiction be blessedly painless.


  7. I couldn’t think of a better addiction!! And – what fun!


  8. If we we’re meant to use adverbs or adjectives, for that matter, the overly generous gods of linguistics wouldn’t have bestowed them upon us. And that’s absolutely all I have to say on the extremely important subject! 😉


  9. Wow, this is certainly an adverb-filled post! Well done!


  10. I’ve been enormously disappointed in the woefully well behaved people around me lately too. No inspiration! Thankfully this was really, really entertaining. I mean it – absolutely! 🙂


  11. I love the line “manic-depression” of expression! Beautifully done 😉


  12. Ooooh! My disorder finally has a name – adverbialism! This is such a wonderfully and cleverly written post.


  13. Delightfully funny post. We’re all in the same soup — delicious adverb soup!


  14. Done delightfully!


  15. I love adverbs! and you are very brave to analyze your posts for words you consistently write. Braver than I will ever be…


  16. I have the disease, really, horribly, hopelessly bad. Loved the post!


  17. We all fall prey to the adverb trap. They are the crutch of a lame verb.


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