0

The concise substitute for 'in an easy way' is 'easily'. In order to save words, can't 'ly' be allowed for the comparative and the superlative degrees as well? I have already seen instances like 'worstly'. After all, language and the dictionary are always updating, and through us.

  • 3
    It's not grammatical, and people will likely judge you for it. Your best bet to get these into common usage is to make a popular book, along the lines of 'A Clockwork Orange' my droog. – user180089 Jul 10 '16 at 4:20
  • 2
    Can't we manage 'more easily'? – Edwin Ashworth Jul 10 '16 at 4:51
  • Great idea! Still sufficiently concise. But I would always want to use 'easierly'. – Uday Pratap Saroj Jul 13 '16 at 18:02
2

"Easily" isn't really a contraction of "in an easy way" - it is actually an adverb, i.e. a word which describes a verb. Though some adverbs do change form when used in comparison or superlatively, in general they take the modifiers more, less, most and least.

Where the meaning permits, adverbs may undergo comparison, taking comparative and superlative forms. In English this is usually done by adding more and most before the adverb (more slowly, most slowly), although there are a few adverbs that take inflected forms, such as well, for which better and best are used. - Wikipedia:adverb

As such, your "easily" would be compared or used in the superlative by saying "more easily" or "most easily".

"Worstly" is incorrect, as "worst" is already an inflected adverb and doesn't require the "-ly": Bad, Worse, Worst. It would not really be applied to a verb.

  • 3
    « "Worstly" is incorrect, as "worst" is already an inflected adjective and doesn't require the "-ly" » — I think you mean because it's already an inflected adverb in this case. Like ‘better’ and ‘best’, there is no difference in adjective and adverb in the comparative and superlative here, only in the positive (badly). There's no reason not to use the adverb worst to modify a verb: “I sing badly, but my sister sings worse, and my brother sings worst of all of us” is perfectly fine. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 24 '16 at 16:33
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - So why can one not say "My sister worse sings"? – Hot Licks Nov 25 '16 at 13:05
  • @HotLicks Same reason you can't say, “My sister more beautifully sings”. That is, you can, but it sounds very archaic. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '16 at 16:15
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - But what is the "rule"? Is there an attribute of "worse" that dictates it's "odd" placement (and, if so, what is that attribute called)? Inquiring minds want to know. – Hot Licks Nov 25 '16 at 18:03
  • 2
    @HotLicks Not all adverbs can be placed before the verbs they modify (let’s simplify things by restricting ourselves to simple, straightforward main clauses). In general, adverbs that indicate judgment sound odd when placed before the verb (“?She beautifully sang”, “She sang beautifully”), whereas temporal adverbs sound most natural there (“She quickly sang”, “(?)She sang quickly”), and general adverbs of manner are all right in either slot (“She loudly sang”, “She sang loudly”). In the comparative and superlative, judgment adverbs are even worse before and only go after. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '16 at 19:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.