Thursday, May 10, 2012

English Help: Accidentally

When something happens "by accident," that means it happens "accidentally." When you say the word out loud, you may swallow up one of those syllables so that it is sounds like *accidently, but the word is spelled "accidentally." A good way to remember this is to start with the noun, "accident," which gives us the adjective "accidental," and from the adjective you get the adverb: "accidentally." There are other adverbs formed in this way as you can see in the quotations below:

accidental (adj.) - accidentally (adv.)

No one is accidentally good; virtue must be learned. [Seneca, ancient Roman philosopher]

usual (adj.) - usually (adv.)

In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly. [Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet]

general (adj.) - generally (adv.)

Time is generally the best doctor. [Ovid, ancient Roman poet]

equal (adj.) - equally (adv.)

Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes. [John Donne, English poet]

The image below provides an illustration of the equality of death; it is the "Dance of Death" (Totentanz in German) when death comes in skeleton form and leads everyone away, people from all conditions of life, from the most humble to the most high.

(Image Source: Der Prediger Totentanz)

No comments:

Post a Comment

There is no CAPTCHA here (the captchas are just too hard!) ... but that means I have limited this comment box to Google Accounts only. You can also write me at laurakgibbs AT gmail DOT com.