Useless Adjective Thursday: A Fun Use of a Boring Adverb

Last night, I was finishing Brave New World and came upon this sentence:

“Nice tame animals, anyhow,” the Controller murmured parenthetically. “Why don’t you let them see Othello instead?”

I love this unexpected use of an adverb that would normally put one to sleep. (Parenthetically is frequently used in this context: “Page references are cited parenthetically in the text.” Zzzzzzzzzz.)

The author of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, loved parenthetically so much that he used it twice within a few pages. The second reference was less entertaining, but still fun:

“There was a man called Cardinal Newman,” he said. “A cardinal,” he exclaimed parenthetically, “was a kind of Arch-Community-Songster.”

For the record, Brave New World doesn’t have a place on my “read it again” shelf. I acknowledge the brilliance and eeriness of Huxley’s predictions for our future, but I wasn’t too engaged in the story, for whatever reason.

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One response to “Useless Adjective Thursday: A Fun Use of a Boring Adverb

  1. I love to speak parenthetically. My life is filled with asides.

    Victoria