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View Full Version : In honor of the Swiftly (Swifty)



Tallent
04-17-2010, 03:05 AM
My son read his first Tom Swift Jr book last week, Tom Swift Jr and His Flying Lab. When he started noticing all the ly adverbs I told him to count them. He said ginningly, "I found five on one page!"

The Tom Swift books are credited for giving us the "Swiftly". But many scientist and engineers of that era credit those books for sparking their interest in science.

Do you have a embarrassingly favorite book that is heavily load with ly(s)? How many per page did you find?

Bartholomew
04-18-2010, 12:49 PM
I like adverbs. /nod

Tracy
04-18-2010, 02:51 PM
Oh! I didn't know that Tom Swift books were real. I thought it was just a phrase. That is so cool to hear!

smcc360
04-18-2010, 05:11 PM
You're right about Tom Swift books, smcc360 agreed.

SirOtter
04-18-2010, 11:29 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Swift

shaldna
04-19-2010, 12:32 AM
wow. i really didn't think that they were actual books.

benbradley
04-19-2010, 12:59 AM
I've always been vaguely aware of the Tom Swift book series, but never read any. I think I saw one or more in high school, but while I was always greatly interested in science and technology, I felt the books were "below" me by then. If I had found them when I was in elementary school I would have devoured them all.

I don't recall Alexander Key's "Sprockets and Rivets" having a lot of adverbs, but I did like it a lot when I read it back in the 1960's. Do you suppose reading that had anything to do with me becoming and engineer and the secretary of the local robot club (http://www.botlanta.org/home/about)? I dunno, maybe there's a connection there somehow...

maxmordon
04-19-2010, 01:15 AM
The word TASER comes from Tom A. Swift's Electric Rifle; by the way.

Matera the Mad
04-19-2010, 04:37 AM
Oh! I didn't know that Tom Swift books were real. I thought it was just a phrase. That is so cool to hear!

omg

Jamesaritchie
04-19-2010, 04:55 AM
That's like saying, "I didn't know the moon was real."

Tallent
04-19-2010, 06:30 PM
I "heard" that Asimov wrote a couple. Is that true?

SirOtter
04-19-2010, 09:11 PM
I "heard" that Asimov wrote a couple. Is that true?

No, but he wrote a sort of similar series about a character named Lucky Starr, IIRC. I don't recall having read any of those.

Jamesaritchie
04-19-2010, 10:53 PM
I have all the Asimov Lucky Starr "juveniles", as they were called back then, but it's been so long since I've read them that I don't recall much about them. I'll have to dig out the first couple and refresh my memory.

He wrote them using the pseudonym "Paul French."

Shadow_Ferret
04-19-2010, 11:05 PM
wow. i really didn't think that they were actual books.

I never even heard of Tom Swift OR whatever phrase you're all talking about: the Swiftly?

Jamesaritchie
04-20-2010, 12:38 AM
I never even heard of Tom Swift OR whatever phrase you're all talking about: the Swiftly?

The "Tom Swifty" is a dialogue tag that, well, here's an example or three:

"The temperature is dropping fast," he said coldly.

"I think you're guilty," he said with conviction.

I have all the diamonds, clubs and spades," he said heartlessly..

Norman D Gutter
04-20-2010, 01:02 AM
Taylor Caldwell's I, Judas. Three times in about 10 pages she has: "He smiled mirthlessly."

Norman D Gutter
04-20-2010, 01:04 AM
I grew up reading the Tom Swift books. As a kid, I never noticed the Swifties. Now, when as an adult I scan them, they sound awful.

My favorite one (don't remember where I read it) wasn't actually from the books:

"That's no bull," he uttered.

Tallent
04-21-2010, 09:12 PM
Modern books are guilty of these sloppy adverbs too. I'm reading "Jedi Apprentice" book 1 to my kids and it is loaded with Swifties. But worst than that, some of the sentences strangle the brain with the darkside of grammar. I try to edit them on the fly, he said sheepishly. It's a wonder I ever learneded how to write. Oh that's right, I never did.