July 16, 2009
The suffix ly is the latest victim of the current recession. Traditionally employed by the thousands as adverbs, many lys are finding themselves suddenly out of a job.
Hollywood has been hit hard by the downturn in suffix employment. Before a recent taping of the hugely popular So You Think You Can Dance, all lys were let go from the TV studio. In true the show must go on style, the program proceeded with its usual superb dancing and creative choreography, but the absence of lys from the building became painfully evident during the course of the show. Popular and charming Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe, effusive judge Mary Murphy, and various guest choreographers put on brave faces but, left with no suffixes to help describe how well the dancers performed, subjected audience members to the following assaults on their hearing (note: the bracketed ly indicates where the missing suffix should have appeared): “It’s not going to happen that quick(ly)”; “you did so phenomenal(ly)”; “you two danced marvellous(ly)”; and “everything is going to go smooth(ly)”. Mr. Lythgoe had no comment regarding the lys’ departure from the show.
Lys perform various roles within their profession. They can, for example, work as adjectives as well as adverbs. Some are employed describing regularly scheduled events: a daily shower; a weekly meeting; a yearly check-up.
It is the lys working as adverbs, however, that have borne the brunt of mass layoffs. If the job description for lys employed in this area is reduced to the simplest of terms, it can be said that generally, if a word answers the question how, it is an adverb. If it is a word that can have ly added to it, it should be placed there.
She sings beautiful/beautifully.
She sings how? Beautifully.
We danced bad/badly.
We danced how? Badly.
A spokesperson for The Promotion of Ly in the English Language (PLEL) noted that WordNavigator.com lists 8742 words ending with ly and warned that the continued removal of ly from our vocabulary will have serious long-term negative effects on the English language.