Grammar Lesson

Guys, I know this is neither the time, nor the place (as the time should be maybe 1994–that’s what it was for me– and the place is your eighth grade English class), but people’s grammar of late is just SO abominable that I must take the time to educate you all about what I like to call the “I feel badly” syndrome. Here’s the deal: anytime you’re using a verb that also functions as one of the five senses, i.e., taste, smell, sound, feel, look, you must use an adjective along with it, NOT an adverb. For example.

WRONG: I feel badly that she can’t come along with us.
Right: I feel bad that she can’t come along with us.

Reason: If you feel badly, that indicates that you can’t feel properly. Meaning, you have sensory problems in your hands like perhaps a quadriplegic. Unless that is of course the case, you always feel BAD about something when you want to convey you have feelings of sympathy or remorse.

WRONG: He smells badly.
Right: He smells bad.

Reason: Again, if he smells badly, that means he either a) lost his nose in the war, b) is extremely stuffed up or c) has a crushed septum that does not allow him to identify smells. To say he smells bad = he is malodorous.

Please, please, please make an effort to remember this if it is the only grammar rule to which you adhere. It is so much more offensive than a simple phrase ended with a preposition.

I promise my next post will be a product review.

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