Pick your "-lily" adverbs with care.
In their Dictionary of Modern English Usage, the brothers Fowler had an interesting article about adverbs such as this, which they dubbed "-lily adverbs".
A great many adverbs are formed from other words by simply appending "-ly". However, when an adjective ending in "-ly" is to be used in an adverbial sense, the rules of word formation require that the "y" be suppressed and an "-ily" be appended: thus, kindly to kindlily.
How often does this happen? Not frequently enough to draw a great deal of attention today, it seems, and yet there are abundant opportunities for it to occur. On the Internet, at "Adjectives ending in -ly", one finds many, including those on the following preferred list:
bodily burly chilly comely costly courtly dastardly deadly deathly disorderly early frilly friendly ghastly goodly gravelly grisly heavenly hilly holy homely jolly kindly knurly leisurely likely lively lonely lovely lowly mannerly mealy measly melancholy oily only orderly otherworldly pearly pebbly pimply scaly shapely sickly silly slatternly slovenly sly spindly sprightly squiggly stately steely surly treacly ugly ungainly unlikely wily wooly worldly
To these are added derivatives from human nouns
authorly beastly brotherly cowardly fatherly gentlemanly granddaughterly housekeeperly husbandly kingly landlordly manly marksmanly matronly miserly motherly neighborly queenly saintly scholarly wifely womanly, etc.
as well as simple derivatives from time or direction words
daily easterly hourly monthly nightly northeasterly northerly northwesterly quarterly rarely southerly timely weekly westerly wobbly yearly, etc.
and simple derivatives from verbs
bristly bubbly crinkly crumbly crumply cuddly curly frizzly giggly rumply smelly sparkly wriggly wrinkly
My favorite "-lily adverb" stems [no pun intended] from the adjective easterly, as in "easterly wind". Convert it to an adverb and what do you get? Easterlily, of course!
JOHN J. HENRICK
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|Author:||Henrick, John J.|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2003|
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