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I'm editing a short movie. In the title screens, after the production company is listed, there needs to be a play on the common "Proudly Presents" text.

It is with some chagrin that the production company is releasing this short, due to its somewhat shameful content. Should I use "Ashamedly Presents" or "Shamefully Presents"? I'm leaning toward the latter since the word feels more recognizable (this is for a mass audience). I wanted to get other opinions and make sure they're both grammatically correct before deciding.

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  • If you're not aiming for a comedy effect then don't use either of them. Are you trying to say that it's a serious film but its subject is somehow taboo or not socially respectable? – A E Nov 25 '14 at 19:50
  • @AE, it's somewhat for comedic effect. The short is produced in the style of a mass-market reality TV drama and panders for ratings. The intended effect of the title sequence is to give a nod to the people who are familiar with the company's past prouder achievements and might expect something more cultured. – amacrobert Nov 25 '14 at 20:11
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    From the standpoint of grammar, pretty much any adverb in that position is equally correct. The question is entirely about meaning and has nothing whatsoever to do with grammar. – RegDwigнt Nov 25 '14 at 20:18
  • "Shamefully" would imply that it's to the presenter's shame, but the presenter may be unaware of this. "Ashamedly", on the other hand, implies that the presenter is aware of the shame (and will generally communicate a slightly more jocular tone as a result). – Hot Licks Nov 25 '14 at 20:24
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    If you are ashamed of the picture or its content but are presenting it anyway, use the phrase Shamelessly presents. Also consider Brazenly presents. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Nov 25 '14 at 23:07
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While they both get the point across reasonably well, the second option "Shamefully" flows off the tongue a little easier.

Since it is a play on "proudly presents," adding just one syllable to change the phrase to "Shamefully Presents" makes the connection easier to make.

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Shamefully.

Usage of the word this way as an adverb to mean "with shame" is listed as rare in my dictionary (OED), although I have certainly heard it before.

Ashamedly is noted as much rarer still-- with only one example from 1600.

If there's a comedic element, using Ashamedly might play that up. But from your second paragraph I don't get the sense that your company is going for comedy.

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The two words are very different in who's involved how with what.

  • Ashamed is an emotion;
    it refers to some individual's experience of personal shame.

  • Shameful is a moral judgement, not an emotion;
    it refers to an individual's belief that someone else ought to experience personal shame.

Consequently, when used adverbially, without human subjects specified, it's not at all clear whether

  • The company is ashamed of its past actions
  • The company is ashamed of its present action
  • The company believes it should have been ashamed in the past (but wasn't)
  • The company believes it should be ashamed now for doing this (but isn't)
  • The company believes somebody else (its previous customers?) should be ashamed

for instance.

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