Posted by: episystechpubs | February 25, 2020

Editor’s Corner: Bad, Badly, and Botox

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m giving you a double whammy: a small lesson and one of those quick quizzes many of you enjoy taking because you love to learn. (Or I work with a bunch of masochists, but that’s too much information for your editor to know.)

The topic for today is from Grammarbook.com and it is about words we sometimes find tricky. Are you feeling well today, or are you feeling good? Did he smell bad, or did he smell badly? What is the difference and how do you know which word to use when? First, the article; then, the quiz. [KC – I might’ve changed some of the examples
a bit.]

The word bad is an adjective used to modify nouns and pronouns.
Example: She was in a bad accident.

Adverbs often end in ly. The word badly is an adverb that answers how about the verb.
Example: She was hurt badly in the accident.

The confusion comes with four of the sense verbs: taste, look, smell, and feel.

When we use these verbs actively, we should follow them with adverbs. (Hear is always used actively.)

When we use these verbs descriptively, we should follow them with adjectives.

Examples:
I feel bad about telling Zuza that she is a poor twerker.
I am not feeling with fingers in the above example; I am describing my state of mind, so the adjective is used (no ly).

He feels badly since he burnt his fingers in acid.
He feels with his fingers here so the adverb (ly form) is used.

You can use this same rule about sense verbs with adjectives and adverbs other than bad and badly.

Examples:
The balaclava over his face, and his handknit body suit made him look suspicious to the police.
He did not look with eyes. Look describes his appearance, so the adjective is needed.

She looked suspiciously at the $3 bill.
She looked with her eyes so the adverb is needed.

He looked good for someone who dieted on Twinkies® and never exercised.
He didn’t look with eyes. Good is describing his appearance so the adjective is needed.

She smelled well for someone with a cold.
She is actively smelling with her nose, so the adverb is needed.

Rule: Well, although more often an adverb, functions as an adjective when referring to health.
Example: He doesn’t feel well enough today to come to work.

Pop Quiz

Based on the information you just read, choose the best answer from each pair or trio.

1. Please don’t feel bad/badly about shaving off your eyebrows.

2. Her face looked bad/badly bruised after going to a Botox® party.

3. She looked cautious/cautiously at the purple Chihuahua ahead of her.

4. He feels cautious/cautiously when walking alone at night with a pocket full of hundreds and uncashed casino chips.

5. He smelled good/well/like the devil after rubbing aftershave on his neck.

6. If you feel good/well enough on Saturday, we hope you’ll join us at the circus.

(Answers below.)

Pop Quiz Answers

1. Please don’t feel bad about shaving off your eyebrows.

2. Her face looked badly bruised after going to a Botox® party.

3. She looked cautiously at the purple Chihuahua ahead of her.

4. He feels cautious when walking alone at night with a pocket full of hundreds and uncashed casino chips.

5. He smelled good after rubbing aftershave on his neck. [KC –
Like the devil is acceptable if you have strong allergies or don’t like aftershave.]

6. If you feel well enough on Saturday, we hope you’ll join us at the circus.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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