24 April 2012

"Hopefully" clarified

From a story at Blogslot, reporting on the American Copy Editors convention in New Orleans:
Now it's OK in AP style to use the word to mean "it is to be hoped that," in addition to "in a hopeful manner."..

Misguided sticklers have made a fetish out of looking at something like "Hopefully the weather will be nice today" and pretend-interpreting it to mean the weather was experiencing a feeling of hope. Meanwhile, they didn't apply that logic to other adverbs used in precisely the same fashion:
Frankly, she's just not that into you. (Wait, you're being frank -- why are you saying she's being frank?) Honestly, Joliet is a dump. (Wait, you're being honest -- why are you talking about that city being honest?)
Seriously, he's an idiot. (Wait, you're being serious -- why are you talking about him being serious?)
Mercifully, I had an excuse to leave early. (Wait, you're not being merciful -- why are you talking about being merciful?)
Curiously, the cat didn't show up for dinner. (Wait, you're not talking about a curious cat ...)
Via Neatorama.

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