Happy Monday! I like Wordsmith‘s explanation of this week’s category of words, so here it is:
“They only try to help, but they get no credit for it. The novelist Graham Greene called them beastly, journalist Walter Bagehot called them timid, poet Theodore Roethke exhorted that one must hate them. Who are they and what have they done to deserve such opprobrium?
Well, they are the part of speech known as the adverb. Literally, they try to help the verb. But their help is not much appreciated. Once in a while it’s fine, but if you find yourself employing the adverb often, recruit better verbs (and nouns and other words) instead.
That said, judicious use of the adverb never hurt anyone. Even arsenic can work like a medicine in small quantities. So go ahead and use them, but use them sparingly. This week we’ll bring you five unusual adverbs.”
If there’s one thing about words I like it’s when they’re unusual. Enjoy your week!
ad hoc (ad HOK)
adverb, adjective: For a particular purpose only (as opposed to a wider application); impromptu
From Latin ad hoc (for this). Earliest documented use: 1639.
Usage (from Wordsmith)
“He said any changes to the national anthem must be properly approved by the Government; not done ad hoc by an events committee.”
Church Unhappy with Change; Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (Port Moresby); Jul 8, 2015