why I hate adverbs

The reason I now hate adverbs [and believe me this is quite recent], is due to my reading of the following quote, coupled with an incident that happened back in college.

"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been build that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place."
It was by William Strunk Jr. E.B. White.
And I found it on one of those thinkexist.com/brainyquotes.com websites with terrible design and quotes by people like Justin Bieber or Demi Lovato or the Dalai Lama, among others.
And Oh the shame. Though of changin' my name.

I didn't. Change my name. Pumba just made his way into my brain so I spat his words like a puppet.

What I want to say, is that the discovery of the quote was very explanatory [oops adverb :)] to me. For a beginner writer, avoiding adjectives and adverbs is no less than a hardship. See, when we begin writing, we think that adverbs and adjectives embellish our texts. We think that they complete our sentences, paint the picture... make the world a better place, etc.
They don't. They make our text heavy, poor, pulling it downwards, until the words fall out of the page and disintegrate on the floor. Then people start stepping on them, and nobody wants that.

And I used to swear by adverbs. Believe me I had at least one adverb, forced somewhere in each sentence I wrote. I thought that adverbs were such a luxury, that if you did not read as I did, you could never be aware of the existence of the beautiful world of adverbs. [And I don't even read that much!] Even better, that my use of adverbs would impress you.

Here's an analogy. Take a typeface. Stretch it. It will look horrific.
Same applies for the noun. Take a noun. Stretch it by adding that murderous "ly", and there, you've just ruined a word.
Oh, how I love to exaggerate. Of course in some cases adverbs are useful, and sometimes I just like to ruin my sentences with them! But let us continue.

Taking a basic creative writing class opened my eyes to the importance of getting rid of adverbs in a sentence. For I came to class with a proud adverb-filled text. After reading, and receiving positive comments, that made me feel I had just pooped perfection, the teacher intervened: "Yes, you know, it's great, the story and everything, but cut out the adverbs..." then he looked at everyone else: "guys, please, try to avoid writing too many adverbs in your texts..."

To me, this was a tragic moment. Here's a sample of my thoughts:
"What? No! He's ruining my text! Oh, I'm such a loser! How can this sentence sound even remotely interesting without those fifteen adverbs! Impossible... Oh, I can't write. Why did I take this class. Now everyone thinks I'm lame." [And so on.]

Exactly. [See sometimes the adverb use is cool.]
My text was not poor without the adverbs. My text was poor because of the plethora of adverbs. Small nuance. It would have been complete with the proper and creative use of nouns and verbs.

Simple will always be better, and remember to craft your words as you write, [if you, reader, ever want to write]. And you can always use an adverb here and there.

For ironically, a healthy and extremely interesting text can never please if it is overwhelmingly full of annoyingly and abundantly excessive adverbs.

See how annoying that was?



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