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fishwax's Journal
Posted by fishwax in The DU Lounge
Tue Feb 16th 2010, 12:42 PM
The use of "I feel badly" is not a modern corruption of the adverb, so much as a residual usage of an adjective that is no longer used in as many different situations as it once was. But badly (like poorly) was long an adjective meaning ill or unhealthy, and people used to use it with verbs other than feel, such as "I am badly" or "he has taken badly" (meaning he has taken ill), "you appear badly" (meaning not that you are half visible, but that you look ill); they also used badly in constructions where it was more clearly an adjective, such as "in a badly way."

This history of the word is apparent in the tinge of quaintness in phrases such as "thinking badly" of someone or "speaking badly" of someone (meaning not a failure to enunciate, but rather "speaking ill").

"Badly" is always an adverb. It ends with an ly.

There are plenty of adjectives that end in -ly. Ghostly, holy, monthly, weekly, princely, scholarly, goodly, friendly, kindly, and so on.
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