Adverbs: Less is More – Data Set

From Tina Quinn Durham

My Data Set and Sources

Listing of Literary Magazines:

Bogdonoff, Nathan. ”Indoor Animals.” New England Review, Vol. 39, No. 4 (2018).

Li, Yiyun. “All Will Be Well.” New Yorker. 11 March 2019.

Roth, Philip.  “Goodbye Columbus.” Paris Review, Issue 20, Autumn-Winter 1958-1959

Adverbial Phrases from New Yorker sample story

Li, Yiyun. “All Will Be Well.” New Yorker. 11 March 2019. 

1) I never called ahead, and rarely had to wait

2) I smiled blankly at Lily in the mirror

3) I said not really.

4) it would do so to the prepared and the unprepared equally

5) all those trees and bushes and buildings gave me the impression that life could be as slowly lived, as long-lasting, as we wanted it to be

6) All these threats, strangely, didn’t worry me as much as the eucalyptus trees.

7) I could easily have booked an appointment at a boutique salon

8) he tripped on the carpet that they had finally installed in their house

9) these were my most tiresome traits, and I used them tirelessly

10) I wasn’t entirely free from the demands of stating my opinions

11) I snapped, unprofessionally, that in my view bad taste was more insulting

12) I thought about that war, three weeks and six days long, which was nearly forgotten now

13) This nondescript life of an immigrant would have continued, if she hadn’t recently had news of Tuan, the boy of her girlhood.

14) friendships severed by war were hardly worth a movie

15) his older brothers were finally able to take him back to their house

16) She had heard about this from an old friend whom she had seen recently when he and his wife were visiting their children in America.

17 & 18) what right did I have to want him to express his heartbreak more poetically or die more realistically,

19) He recovered and eventually moved to another province in Vietnam

20) “Now, that’d be a really good love story,” Lily said

21) When Lily finally called, the man had no words but only tears

22 & 23) I was an exhausted young mother then, courageously blind to the dangers of the world and stubbornly blind to its beauties.

24) They looked like two lambs, impeccably prepared by their elders as sacrifices to appease a beast or a god. 

total words in story: 4412

percentage of adverbs: 24/4412 = 0.0054 or 0.54%

Adverbial Phrases from Paris Review sample story

Roth, Philip.  “Goodbye Columbus.” Paris Review, Issue 20, Autumn-Winter 1958-1959

1) she stepped out to the edge of the diving board and looked foggily into the pool

2) She dove beautifully

3) Her hands suddenly appeared behind her

4) “I didn’t really meet her. I saw her.”

5) Suddenly she leaped up from the chair.

6) Though I am very fond of desserts, especially fruit, I chose not to have any. 

7) It was not to warn me to clothes-pin my nose and run in the opposite direction; it was a fact, it apparently didn’t bother Brenda, but she wanted it recorded.

8) It was Brenda and she sounded as though she was sweating considerably.

9) I crackled slowly up the gravel and heard Brenda again.

10) she caught it neatly as I came into sight

11) As it happened, Brenda finally won

12) finally all I could see moving in the darkness were her glasses, a glint of them

13) The darker it got the more savagely did Brenda rush the net

14) she didn’t look entirely happy about being so close to her opponent’s racket.

15) apparently her manor lay no further than the nearest briar patch

16) I may say it a bit too ringingly, too fast, too up-in-the-air, but I say it

17) then, as the night suddenly came all the way in, the leaves on the trees shined for an instant,

18) she ceased being merely a voice and turned into a sight again

19) We sat down on a bank of grass slanted enough for us to lean back without really leaning

20) we were ready now for what, magically, it seemed we might be able to get by without: a meeting

21) “Would you like to go home?” I was suddenly angry.

22) I tugged her towards me, too violently perhaps

23) I heard one deeply tanned woman rasp

24) Brenda was elegantly simple

25) she grabbed up with her hands and held my ankles, tightly and wet.

number of words: 3211

percentage of adverbs: 25/3211 = 0.0078 or 0.78%

Adverbial Phrases from the New England Review Story

Bogdonoff, Nathan. ”Indoor Animals.” New England Review, Vol. 39, No. 4 (2018).

1) It feels momentarily like a collapse of reality

2) The pigeons learned the machine easily

3) One pigeon squatted up and down endlessly.

4) Another simply blinked at the door faithfully. 

5) You roll over—slowly—and turn the lights off. 

6 & 7) The fawn is peeing, steadily and unabashedly, all over the floor.

8) when you go for a walk you are not actually walking; you are wading.

9) they had left the scooper in the litterbox rather than next to it, where it usually resided

10) You are in the attic, rummaging through boxes. There are not many of them, because when you moved north you did so hastily

11) Eventually, you find what you are looking for

12) You think, briefly, this is the most genuine smile I have ever seen

13) You feel badly for treating her like a party trick

14) these days you barely remember that the names ever belonged to anyone besides a Belgian shepherd and a fawn.

15 & 16) The elephants will run their trunks slowly and curiously along the empty bones

17) It is unclear if they do this because they miss their loved ones or simply because they are paralyzed by the concept of their own mortality.

18) Luckily you are fired one day in early July

19) You consider traveling further south, where people are supposedly friendlier.

20) But you understand, elementally, that this is untrue.

21) Eventually you come up with what you were looking for

22) a worn-down Nikon, its battery nearly drained

23) here, briefly, is a man who loved you

number of words: 2351

percentage of adverbs: 23/2351 = 0.0098 or 0.98%

average: 0.0054 + 0.0078 + 0.0078 = 0.021

0.021/3 = 0.0077 or 0.77%