Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Aug 17, 2015
This week’s theme
Adverbs

This week’s words
ad hoc
wherewith
inter alia
athwart
pro rata

ad hoc restaurant
In Napa Valley, California, there’s a restaurant called “ad hoc” that promises “temporary relief from hunger”

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

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.

ad hoc

PRONUNCIATION:
(ad HOK)

MEANING:
adverb, adjective: For a particular purpose only (as opposed to a wider application); impromptu.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin ad hoc (for this). Earliest documented use: 1639.

USAGE:
“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.

See more usage examples of ad hoc in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The real secret is why love starts out with claws like a cat and then fades with time like a half-eaten mouse. -Herta Müller, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (b. 17 Aug 1953)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith