Old business, new business
By Robin Abrahams
August is just such a torpid and pointless month, isn't it? I feel like my brain is encased in honey. Very few insights, very few. So instead of breaking new ground, let's finish up some old business.
People still seem confused by this "I feel bad/I feel badly" thing, and why the first is correct and the second not. I'm still getting e-mails about it, the gist of which usually is: "But isn't 'badly' an adverb?" Yes, it is. And it's because "badly" is an adverb that you don't use it this way, because an adverb would modify "feel." When you're downcast and blue, it's not your ability to feel that is diminished, made less optimal, or "bad"--it's you. If you were "feeling badly," you wouldn't be aware of many emotions at all.
Or, to put it another way: if you're chilly, you don't say "I feel coldly," do you? So there.
Book recommendations! Got a few more to share with you:
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
Thanks to the readers who sent these in!
New business--I'll be chatting tomorrow from noon to 1 on boston.com. Please join! There's only been a few chats since this blog has started, but already I think there's more people coming, which means more and better questions, comments, and controversies. Let's see just how good we can get these chats to be. I think we're inventing a whole new form of entertainment, here.