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Usually the rule is "no -ly adverbs" - so perhaps he should have been more explicit. The author's point, though, is that doing so makes for better, clearer writing and that in nine cases in 10, it is the better option.

Regarding the passive voice, the author is just providing general clues to good writing and is not imposing a dogma. Certainly the passive voice makes for a boring read.

So I think that his point is: get rid of adverbs for clarity, and change the passive voice to an active one to maintain interest.

I must say I agree.




> Usually the rule is "no -ly adverbs"

What?? That makes even less sense than the "no adverbs" rule. Nothing in the syntax or semantics distinguish -ly adverbs from any other. (I only included -ly adverbs in my count because I was lazy and they were easier to search for.)

> Certainly the passive voice makes for a boring read.

You don't read much that isn't boring, then, eh? Too bad. Good writers use the passive voice. Writing that avoids the passive voice is not good writing.


You're right about one thing: there is not much good writing out there. The -ly rule is a pretty established one. These adverbs are almost always pointless. Other adverbs (for example "not" or "almost" or many of the adverb phrases) are more crucial to language and important for clarity.




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