Thanks, I'm well

My friends, this month I want to talk to you about an endangered species. Generally speaking, extinct is forever, and I am still haunted by an advertisement which depicted a children's book open at a page showing a picture of a large animal and the phrase "E was for elephant", no doubt on the page after "D is for dodo".

Fortunately, I am describing a creature who rejoices in the fact that, in this case, extinct would not necessarily mean forever. I am speaking of the adverb, a useful little thing which describes a verb. For example, I ran quickly to the station. Unfortunately, this construction is increasingly forgotten. To the question How are you? I am sorry that the answer is increasingly I'm good even though no question has been made of your moral or ethical standards. The response you should be giving is I'm well (assuming you are).

I'm just walking quick. Perhaps you mean quickly?

Who is responsible for this decline in the standard of the English language and this loss of the beautiful adverb? I know that I offend people when I cast the blame fairly and squarely on Elvis Aaron Presley. Did he introduce a wonderful song called Love me tenderly? I think not. Since his time, the inexorable decline has been so deeply ingrained on us. Love me tender indeed! It's hard to think of a more damaging song, though no doubt I will manage it in the next month or so…

There used to be an illustrated and detailed page on the web which described this sad state of affairs far better than I am able to do. Of course, my earlier pages had a link to it, but the page has become as dead as the dodo mentioned earlier. I still have the button I used to link it. Please let me know if you find a new version of this page or any other adverb-friendly pages. I shall reply gratefully and promptly to anybody who informs me politely of such resources. Of course, I continually use adverbs and I find they joyfully enrich my use of the English language. After I spoke about adverbs recently, a number of people asked me repeatedly how I was. I am sure that some of them were cunningly trying to catch me out and cause me carelessly to say "I'm good" but they never did this successfully: the English heritage I have precludes it. I suspect that it is only in New Zealand and some other countries that this phrase has caught the public imagination. Am I writing reliably? Please let me know!
Save the adverb

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