This question already has an answer here:

This is from Light in August, by W. Faulkner, Chapter 18:

He began to breathe deep. He could feel himself breathing deep, (...)

This confused me deep.

(This is related but not an answer to my question. Read especially the comments to the accepted answer.)

EDIT. As noted in the comments and in the title: the question is indeed why deep and not deeply? Even if it does not feel too wrong, the second statement certainly confuses readers deep. Even if the use of deep as an adverb is widely accepted in formal speech, one does not expect to hear from the narrator in a novel. [This is an adverb, right? Because like I said, I am confused.]

For rerefence, the rest of the sentence is:

He began to breathe deep. He could feel himself breathing deep, as if each time his insides were afraid that next breath they would not be able to give far enough and that something terrible would happen, and that all the time he could look down at himself breathing, at his chest, and see no movement at all, like when dynamite first begins, gathers itself for the now Now NOW, the shape of the outside of the stick does not change; that the people who passed and looked at him could see no change: a small man you would not look at twice, that you would never believe he had done what he had done and felt what he had felt, who had believed that out there at the mill on a Saturday afternoon, alone, the chance to be hurt could not have found him.

The full text can be found here, page 168.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, tchrist, MetaEd, Kris, Kristina Lopez Jun 17 '13 at 18:10

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 3
    I'm confused deep. Is there a question in your post? – teylyn Jun 11 '13 at 11:05
  • 1
    @teylyn: the OP is being clever. Why deep instead of deeply? (because the quote is mildly OK, but the confusion statement is not) – Mitch Jun 11 '13 at 11:12
  • 1
    This is a very goodly question. ;-) – TrevorD Jun 11 '13 at 11:49
  • 7
    Formation of adverbs with -ly only became the 'rule' after the Restoration. Before then, most adjectives could be deployed as adverbs, and that use has been preserved in common collocations: run fast, swing low, aim high, run hot. We still drink deep, dive deep, and dig deep. Still waters run deep, and the auscultating physician commands us to breathe deep. – StoneyB Jun 11 '13 at 17:02
  • 1
    @StoneyB That sounds like a perfect answer to my question; if you were to post it as such, I would accept it happy. – Myself Jun 11 '13 at 17:23

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.