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04

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QW 042212 “Hopefully, Regretfully & Regrettably”

Recently I read a couple of articles regarding an allegedly misused adverb “hopefully”.

The audacity of “hopefully”
Are language cops losing war against 'wrongly' used words?

Here’s an excerpt of the second article which explains the legitimacy of the current use of “hopefully” in a plain manner.

“Before the change, ‘hopefully’ could only be used to mean ‘in a hopeful manner’. ("Is dinner ready?" she asked hopefully.) Now, it can also take the more modern meaning, ‘it is hoped’. (Hopefully, dinner will be ready soon).”

Now that the aforementioned usage of “hopefully” has officially been approved by the editors of the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, I started wondering what could be the difference between “hopefully” and “regretfully”. “Regretfully” is an adverb which, I believe, originates in the verb “regret” (feel sad or disappointed). Isn’t it pretty much the same as the case that “hopefully” is an adverb who originates in the verb “hope” (want something to happen or be the case)? If the usage of “hopefully” as “it is hoped” used to be grammatically wrong, then a sentence such as, “Regretfully, we’ve lost a big talent.” with the usage of regretfully as “it is regretted” could be wrong as well? According to Merrriam-Webster.com , "regretfully” means “it is regretted”, but the example sentences show that the adverb tends to be within sentences. That reminds me that there’s another adverb “regrettably”. Okay, then, how these two adverbs can be differentiated?

I googled two adverbs and got the following result:
Either word can be used as an adverb to introduce an expression of regret, though conservatives prefer “regrettably” in sentences like “Regrettably, it rained on the 4th of July.” Within the body of a sentence, however, “regretfully” may be used only to describe the manner in which someone does something: “John had to regretfully decline his beloved’s invitation to go hang-gliding because he was terrified of heights.” If no specified person in the sentence is doing the regretting, but the speaker is simply asserting “it is to be regretted,” the word is “regrettably”: “Their boss is regrettably stubborn.”

Well, then, the bottom-line is that the counter part of the newly approved usage of “hopefully” seems to be “regrettably”. Am I being correct?

(40 minutes / 374 words)

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Wordle_hopefully.jpg


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Aya

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