Which is correct? "Blazing Fast Speed" or "Blazingly Fast Speed"?

In my opinion, the latter because one can't say, for one, "Amazing Fast Speed", right?

Admittedly NY Times use it a lot but...:

NY Times search for 'blazing fast' (via Google)

  • I kinda like Fastly Blazing Speed. It's distinctive. – John Lawler Nov 27 '13 at 0:52
  • It would be good if somebody with access to different corpora could check this, but Google Ngrams seems to indicate this is one of those places where American and British English differ. – Peter Shor Nov 27 '13 at 1:45

Either blazing or blazingly could be valid.

We can use blazing to intensify fast, just as something can be burning hot or sopping wet, which sound redundant but are idiomatic. Blazingly, the usual adverbial form, would of course work in this manner.

We could alternatively read blazing and fast as parallel descriptors for speed, just as we can have soothing sweet tea or an amazing technicolor dreamcoat.


There are several intensifiers that end -ing, most of them swearing. I read blazing as replacing a similarly formed word which the NY Times would not deign to print.

  • So you imply Blazingly is more grammatically correct. – Schultz9999 Nov 27 '13 at 0:11
  • It is interesting that they put it in quotes. But as regards the word which the NYT would not deign to print, would that not have to be f***ingly-fast? Or do swear words stop with ..ing? – WS2 Nov 27 '13 at 0:18
  • You probably read it this way because "blazing fast" is an Americanism. I certainly don't. – Peter Shor Nov 27 '13 at 1:47
  • 2
    @WS2: Insisting that grammar requires -ly on adverbial intensifiers is just bloodily wrong. – Peter Shor Nov 27 '13 at 14:08
  • 1
    @PeterShor Or even justly bloodily wrong! – WS2 Nov 27 '13 at 18:09

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