Adverbs aren’t very popular these days.
We all know how Stephen King regards and Mark Twain regarded them. English teachers, writing coaches, and would-be authors advise everyone to avoid them. J.K. Rowling—best-selling author and creator of the “Harry Potter” series—has been criticized relentlessly for her use of them.
Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at adverbs, the most maligned of the parts of speech.
Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They describe how, when, where, and how much.
Ex: “I was soundly beaten the last time I played Scrabble.“
The disdain many writers and editors have for adverbs often occurs when adverbs are used with the word “said.” Here are a few examples.
Ex: “You cheated. That’s the only way you could have won,” I said angrily.
In this example the adverb angrily modifies the word “said.” However, a stronger verb would remove the need for the adverb.