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Welcome to issue #44  of  Words Matter , our bi-weekly newsletter .  Please feel free to share with a friend! 
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The Unruly and Lively -LY

Among the vivid characters introduced to the world by Charles Dickens is Thomas Gradgrind, who believed in precise facts and measurements, and rigidity about rules, words, and students.

Some Gradgrinds insist on consistent spelling and grammatical rules, such as adding -LY directly onto the end of the word to make adverbs.  They'll "correct" you if you say, "Go slow."  "You must say SLOWLY!"

Well, not so fast.  Slow, like fast, and many other words, can be adverbs already, without any suffix.  But aside from that, let's look more closely at "the rule".  With most words, the -LY (no matter whether it's the adjective or the adverb) is indeed actually attached directly, nicely, and cleanly onto a root word with no changes in spelling: 

, quickly, friendly, heavenly, rarely, nicely, imaginatively, and so on.   But this is not entirely so.

Adverbs made by adding -LY to a root word that ends in a double -LL (such as fullill, or still) drop their final L in order to avoid three of the same letter in a row: fully, illy, stilly, odd as these last two sound.

Root words that end in -LE become adverbs by dropping the -LE before adding -LY.  Watch these words become adverbs:

able + ly
> ab(le)+ ly
> ably
invisible + ly
> invisib(le) + ly
> invisibly
ample + ly
> amp(le) + ly
> amply
idle + ly
> id(le) + ly
> idly
rule + ly
> ru(le) + ly
> ruly (and its, opposite, unruly)

Root words ending in -Y will change the Y to the letter I before an added -LY:
angry + ly        > angri + ly       > angrily

busy +ly           > busi + ly         > busily 

English adjectives such as silly , holy , and friendly become awkward adverbs when we add - LY to them (sillily, holily, friendlily), but they do occur in the language.
Four words drop their final E before adding -LY: due, one, true, and whole, becoming duly, only, truly, and wholly.  Accordingly, the words unduly and untruly can be added to this small list.
Conclusively then, the suffix -LY will not let itself be merely forced into conformity.  Words, like people, defy a Gradgrindian insistence on consistency, so relax and appreciate the variety!
  -- R.D. "Doc" Larrick

Enjoy this brief student video that comes directly from WordBuildonLine Foundations Level 2. 

The suffix LY
The suffix LY

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