Adverbs that people should either stop using

… or start using correctly.

1) Technically

It means: looking into the details or by way of with facts and figures. However, the word technical is also synonymic with practical, which then hints us to look at the surface of the matter and not confuse ourselves with its details. In turn, it is commonly used to mean the opposite of what it actually does; to magnify the fine points of the topic on hand rather than disregarding them. When the word is thrown out in speech or essays, it’s more likely to mean the construed version. And because of its ambiguity, the word can be used in almost any sentence without meaning anything.

Here’s a pop quiz to exemplify my point.

A) Susan just underwent her sex change operation last week, so technically she’s a boy.
B) Susan just underwent her sex change operation last week, so technically she’s a girl.

With A and B considered, was Susan a boy or girl?


2) Basically

It means: in basic terms. The definition is crystal clear. However, even knowing what it means, people insist on sneaking it in front of statements that already are basic, which defeats its only purpose.

For example…

Basically, my dog is my pet.
Basically, let’s meet at 4pm at Somerset tomorrow.
Basically, can I go to the toilet?

Do me a favor, with your palm, cover the word that starts with Capital B in front of every sentence and read them again. Is it equally understandable and as well, meaning? If it is, well done! You are on track of becoming an awesome human being. If not, you are the reason why injustice exist.

Basically(irony intended), sentences which already are basic shouldn’t be paired with the adverb, like this one. Using a 4 syllabi word in front of every sentences does not make you sound more eloquent than a 4 year old with Tourette syndrome. It only makes you sound unconfident of what you are saying.

3) Allegedly

It means: reportedly or as informed by someone. The word is hardly construed or mis-used(debatable since abusing a word could constitute as misusing it as well :/) but like “technically”, it also suffers the problem of it being thrown around without meaning much. Think about it, every piece of information that we know is the result of an agent(either yourself or someone else) experiencing it, identifying it and finally reporting it. So sticking the word in front of factoids or casual remarks such as…

Allegedly, 80% of us are decedents of Genghis Khan.
Allegedly, all killer whales are the descendants of pandas and humpback whales.
Allegedly, your dad inseminated your mum so you are reading this.

… would neither change nor add additional meaning to the sentence. So if you are guilty of constructing sentences like the above, perhaps it’s time you re-evaluate your life options and become a responsible adult.

The word is only useful when you wear the shoes of a news reporter who wants to inform the public that the information published may or may not be true and is informed by a third party that shall not be named.

Eg. Allegedly, Tom Cruise passed away last night due to drug overdose but since you are seeing him on another channel which is a live telecast so… allegedly.

4) Accordingly

It means: to perform something most appropriate to a particular situation or according to what is usually practiced. Seems like a perfectly legit and useful word right? Yep, but the problem lies with it being TOO useful. Like greeting cards with corny wishes that you will never say in real life, this seemingly innocuous word allows people to get off the hook from explaining how should certain things should be done.

For example:

Son, I know you are only 4 month old but would you mind helping me troubleshoot my car accordingly?
Dave, I know you are an engineering student but I would really appreciate it if you could help me write my philosophy thesis accordingly.
Dear passengers, the plane has ran out of fuel. However, I am sure the pilot will still land the plane at your destination safely and accordingly.

The above aren’t caricatures. People do use it in such silly ways. As functional as it is, you shouldn’t fall trap to using it because something is tricky to explain but when it is needless of explanations.

5) All in all

Basically, and not technically, if you have read the post accordingly, if the goal is to sound more expressively, these adverbs, allegedly, do more harm than good to your writings. If not, all adverbs.