Some sneaky adjectives look like they should be adverbs because they end in -ly.
“We piled our dishes DISORDERLY” is wrong.
“She passed him a cup of tea MOTHERLY” is equally wrong.
There are a few solutions here:
1) opt for ugly and clumsy phrases like:
“in a disorderly/motherly manner” or a “disorderly/motherly way”
2) search for a synonym, or paraphrase:
“We piled our dishes chaotically.”
“She passed him a cup of tea, as if she were his mother.”
3) Avoid -ly adjectives like the plague – which is of course a repetition of 2 (and impossible to do on a daily basis).
All Language Notes of the Week are available at: