I was struggling away at the keyboard, trying to get a passage written just so, when I thought I heard something at the door. Not wanting to stop at a crucial juncture, I ignored it. Mona, my dog, perked her ears up, and DC, the cat, even cracked open an eye. I typed on.
There it was again, faintly insistent. Mona jumped up and trotted to the door with DC sauntering after. I sighed. Grumbling at the intrusion, I opened the door and looked out but didn’t see anything. Then I looked down and saw a bedraggled group of Adverbs.
“Please, can you help us?” Quickly, their spokesword, pleaded.
“I’m not sure what I can do,” I said as the group slowly trudged into the living room, waifish and suffering from neglect. Well was so weak, she had to be carried in by her companions.
“We can’t get any work!” Excellently exclaimed. “I could have had a sweet gig for a commercial, but my Adjective cousin bumped me out. Who would have thought anyone would put up with a sentence like, ‘You do a lot of things excellent’?”
“Yeah, I cringe every time that comes on,” I admitted.
“You see our predicament, don’t you?” Quickly asked. “It’s not enough that we have writers like Stephen King badmouthing us, but we’re being muscled out by the Adjectives. How are we supposed to support ourselves?”
I picked up DC who, eyes as wide as radar dishes, was fascinated with the tail of Quickly’s q. The poor word didn’t need any more abuse.
“Just look at poor Well there,” Quickly continued. “She’s been ignored and replaced for so long, she can barely lift up her w. That Good has absolutely no pity.”
“You know I’m sympathetic, but I’m not sure what I can do to help,” I said.
“We know of your efforts,” Quickly said. “We’ve heard you yelling at the television. We’ve seen you inking up your students’ papers. Yet we know that we are dying out. We just need a safe haven. You have so many dictionaries; we could take shelter in them. We wouldn’t be any trouble.”
What else could I do? I couldn’t let the poor Adverbs face extinction without helping out. I’ve gladly given them what little protection I can.
Now they are living in my dictionaries, gradually fading from the writing world. Every once in a while one will come out to visit, braving DC’s wildness. Sometimes I can even place a few in my writing.
As they bravely face elimination, I can’t help but admire them.
3 thoughts on “Neglected Adverbs Seek Safe Haven”
As I carefully wipe a tear from the corner of my eye, I think fondly of my favorite adverbs. I recently had a doctor ask if I was a school teacher. I asked why he might think that. Apparently when he asked how I was and I answered “I am well,” that marketed me as bookish. Sigh. Good word use — it’s not for wimps.
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