Adverbs ending in the -ly suffix are all contractions hiding in plain sight. -ly is cognate with the word ‘like,’ and indeed, it literally means … ‘like.’ Sadly is literally sad-like. Madly is literally mad-like. Amazingly, both ‘like’ and ‘-ly’ derive from a root word meaning ‘body or corpse.’ Over the course of this episode, we try to make sense of this semantic evolution.
To be or not to be? Well, if you're conjugating the verb, you're most likely using a form that does not sound like ‘to be.’ ‘To be’ is the most irregular verb in the English language, and in today's episode, we explore why this is the case.
Grammar is one of the defining features of language. In today's episode, we look at some of the fundamentals of grammar in general, and then take a brief tour through the historical evolution of English grammar itself. Part 1 in a five-part series.