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re: Grammar in "Left in the Dark"

Posted by:
Vin 03:30 pm MST 01/26/07
In reply to: re: Grammar in "Left in the Dark" - GTKarber 03:15 pm MST 01/26/07

You know, this has been bugging me all day, and I've asked several people and no one can agree. Dictionary.com agrees with you and Smeg, in as much as its sample uses of "badly" include the same kinds of sentences.

Still, the logic does not exactly follow, ergo:

"I paint badly." means I do not paint well.

"She sings badly." means she is not a good singer.

Yet somehow "I need badly." does not mean I'm a poor needer?

There's a logical disconnect there, it seems to me.

I think the disconnect occurs with verbs that do not decribe physical actions. Intangible verbs such as "need" and "feel" are apparently not affected by the "badly" adverb in the same way as verbs which describe concrete physical actions.

That's the best I can figure it out, anyway.

> Smeg is so right it's unbelievable.
>
> You, in contrast, are not.
>
> Badly is the adverb. In this case, you want to use the
> adverb, not the adjective, which is what bad is. All of
> your uses of the word "bad," every single one of them, are
> informal uses of bad to mean the adverb. Nothing wrong
> with that. It's just not proper. And if we're debating
> minutiae, as you say, well then...
>
> Using bad would be like using good instead of well. "How
> did you do on the exam?" "I did good." That doesn't sound
> horrible to our ears, and neither does bad in your
> examples. But it's wrong. "I did well" is correct.
>
> But yeah, Smeg said it.


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