Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Not Something to Brag About

This is the subject line of spam we just received:
But now I can penetrate hardly and give the pleasure to every woman!
Newsflash, Mr. Spammy: Penetrating "hardly" is no route to pleasure.

We applaud your attempt to modify "penetrate" with an adverb. Unfortunately, hardly wasn't a good word choice because it means "barely." And by barely, we do not mean lacking clothing (though it's a good start if you're headed down this road).

Hard, the word you meant to use, can function as both an adjective and an adverb. It comes from the Old English "heard," which means "with strength."

Here's what Encarta has to say about hard in its role as an adjective:
adverb (comparative hard·er, superlative hard·est)

1. forcefully: with a lot of force
hit the ball hard

2. all the way: to the greatest degree or extent
pulled the truck over hard

3. energetically: with vigor and energy or industriousness
worked hard

4. with concentration: with great mental concentration
studied hard

5. with difficulty: with effort and great difficulty
Her victory was hard won.

6. compactly: into a solid or compact state
set hard

7. severely: in a way that causes anguish or hardship
hit hard by the recession

8. slowly: slowly and with difficulty
hatred that dies hard

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