At work, in my CSA garden, we spend first lunch trying to stump each other with “The Word of the Day. Two of my co-workers are Scrabble fanatics. Another is studying to take the Graduate Record Exam in the fall. I write, ergo I am “into” words. We keep a dictionary handy.
Our Webster’s II New College Dictionary defines adverb as: a part of speech that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb.
We all use adverbs, but the conventional wisdom for wanna-be, and wanna-stay,-published authors is to eschew them. So, in my narrative paragraphs, I look for active verbs that preclude any need for adverbs.
I also try to use for descriptively-specific adjectives, rather than supporting my adjectives with adverbs like descriptively-specific. When I find I have written, “The dinner service was exceptionally good,” I try to edit to, “Dinner service was superlative.” Unless I was recounting dinner at the White House or 10 Downing Street; then I’d gush effusively, completely forgetting that gush implies effusiveness, and is therefore redundant.
Dialogue is an entirely different ball game. Characters talk like people, and people run the gamut from lyrical thespian, to monosyllabic thug, to my three-year-old granddaughter’s “I go your house, Gramma?”
Eschew and preclude are $10.00 words that probably should be replaced with avoid and prevent. I cannot say whether it is better to speak convincingly or to convince.