Submitted by goossun on January 30, 2005


Can one say “beforehandedly?” and if so should it be with double L or single. If rejected what word would you useinstead? By the way, is the any rule as to use one or two Ls when making adverbs?


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Where did you learn English?

There're only two ls when the adjective ends in an l.

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lysdexia, goossun learned English, I gather, through his continual study and travel abroad. You must be one of my fellow Americans, because you appear to think that people who have trouble with certain aspects of English are ignorant (and goossun, whatever else he might be, is far from ignorant; trust me on this.) :)

The issue at hand appears to be whether a rule exists to help you choose "-ly" or "-ally" when making an adjective (typically) into an adverb.

Well, "typically" is a good word to analyze. You begin with the word "typical," then you add the adverbial "-ly." Most (if not all) words ending in "-ally" have an adjective with "-al," such as "usually" ("usual") and "tragically" (from "tragical," now obsolete).

The other case of adverbs that appear to end in "-lly" is when you make an adverb out of an adjective ending with "-ll," such as "fully" ("full") or "frilly" ("frill").

For most adjectives, you do make adverbs by just adding "-ly." There are some exceptions that have to be learned individually, such as "slily" ("sly") and "simply" ("simple").

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"Frilly" was a terrible example, I do admit.

(Monday morning... better have that cup of coffee now!)

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"Beforehandedly" would be the correct way to form the adverb, if you wanted, but look up "presumptively" and see if it doesn't have the meaning you want.

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Oh, Christ, I'm so asleep. I had better not come back until after coffee time.

I meant "proactively," not "presumptively," which will not do. I'll stay on the case and report back after the caffeine kicks in.

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Speed, if beforehandedly isn't wrong, I'm happy with it.
as to the ignorance stuff, I wouldn't take statements like lysdexia's serious. Because s/he is either an English speaker so that THINKS s/he knows the language because s/he talks to her/his pet in that language or just have been told a "rule" in an English school and is convinced and happy with it for the rest of her/his life.
So I don't bother to show examples that contradicts that "rule."

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"Beforehandedly" is, IMO, not entirely correct. "Beforehand" itself is already an adverb, so adding '-ly' to make it an adverb seems redundant (though intriguing, and seen as perfectly valid linguistic fun amongst the hacker subculture).

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Well, it depends. "Beforehand" can be an adjective or an adverb. Check this out:

Adjective example: "Maximilian was beforehand in his marriage proposal to Clarissa." (In other words, he proposed before he had asked Clara's daddy; he should have waited until the right time.)

Adverb example without "-ly": "Maximilian should not have proposed beforehand."

Adverb example with "-ly": "Maximilian looked soulfully at Clarissa, and declared beforehandedly, 'I'll have you as my wife, whatever your father says!'"

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Agreed, it does do both jobs. Of course, your last example would probably do better with no adverb at all; "Maximilian looked soulfully at Clarissa and declared 'I'll have you as my wife, whatever your father says!'" (or, it seems, what Clarissa says) parses a little better since, if they have no idea what the father's going to say, it already implies it's a beforehand declaration.

'Prematurely' could work, if an adverb of manner is absolutely needed.

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Hi goossun

Have never heard, read or used beforehandedly. Didn't know hackers used it, but I'd say steer well clear of the word unless that's the context youre talking about.

The adverb is beforehand.
Whilst its use as an adjective may appear in older literature (see Speedwell's quote), it is not current English (UK English, anyway) to my knowledge.


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"takes..serious", "examples..contradicts"

Sure, goossun's "not" ignorant. I want my question answered. What contradicts the rule?

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As far as I know they don't actually use it, but it follows from a tendency in the hacker subculture to deliberately apply rules of grammar in cases where they aren't actually supposed to be applied; a trick that needs a fairly good awareness of language.

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The correct word is beforehand...there is no such word as beforehandedly in any dictionary.

There is no such rule as using a double L for adverbs

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Oh, my, we have a word that isn't in the dictionary. Whatever did the language do before there were dictionaries? Were all the words just wrong?

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"In the beginning was dictionary and dictionary was God!"

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Heretic!! Burn the heretic! Burn the.... waaaaaaait....

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It has been suggested that "beforehand" is an adverb, and that "beforehandedly" is therefore redundant. However, there are two kinds of adverbs. The first kind, without the -ly suffix, does not immediately preceed the verb. It is more of a stand-alone clarifier than a direct
modifier. For example, in

"He placed the kindling crosswise to the rest of the wood."

"crosswise" is of this type. We cannot say

"He crosswise placed the kindling."

But neither can we say:

"He crosswisely placed the kindling."

because the rule is that -ly needs to be added to an adjective (or a noun), not to an adverb.

(and conversely we cannot answer the question "How did he place the kindling?" with "Crosswisely.")

So we need some intermediate suffix that will convert the original type 1 adverb into an adjective, so that we can then legitimately make it into a type 2. To do this we adapt a pattern used to convert a verb into an adjective. The verb "advise" becomes an adjective by adding "d", and then pronouncing the result with three syllables rather than two, to differentiate it from the identically spelled past tense. Finally we get to the adverbial form "advisedly", and hence "crosswisedly", and hence "beforehandedly".

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yeah lysdexia that's pretty fucked up, that person's english i waaaay better than my japanese or spanish so you must have issues. settle down.

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Bravo noanchorbabies!

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what is the meaning of beautifuly and beautifully?

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Actually, I do believe that the correct spelling for the adverbial form of sly is "slyly", and not "slily".

That's just silly.

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If beforehand can be both adverb and adjective, then doesn't that make "beforehanded" also redundant? Also, while "beforehandedly" may or may not be a valid construction, why would anyone ever say it? Beforehand means "prior to" or "in advance of". Just what would "beforehandedly" mean, anyway? Um, maybe "done in the fashion of that which is done prior to something"????? Why would anyone ever use such a word?

Examples: "When backing up, you should check your rear view mirror beforehand". No disrespect intended, but no English speaker, native or foreign would ever say "When backing up, you should beforehandedly check your rear view mirror". Also, using an adjective, no one would ever say "The beforehanded mirror-checking was done with aplomb", or whatever. Sorry, "beforehanded" is another word that just doesn't really exist in the English lexicon. Even-handed, back-handed, left-handed, sure, but not beforehanded.

PS - I'm not saying that this is necessarily "wrong". Personally, I'm a firm believer in using an established construction method to make up a new word (provided it at least makes sense).

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