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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Garbl's Editorial Style Manual: H -- revised entry for 'hopefully'

I finally got around to updating my online editorial style manual to reflect the changing consensus on acceptable uses of hopefully.

This change was brought to the forefront earlier this year when the Associated Press Stylebook revised its advice on use of hopefully. Most U.S. newspapers and many corporate communications departments follow the AP's editorial style preferences.

Here's my revision in Garbl's Editorial Style Manual:
hopefully Ignore the rapidly dwindling number of style gurus who think it is incorrect to modify the meaning of an entire sentence by beginning it with the adverb hopefully. As other style experts note, adverbs such as apparently, fortunately and obviously are already used correctly to modify entire sentences. And hopefully can be used that way too! Thus, go ahead and use hopefully to mean "it is hoped, let us hope, we hope" or "I hope" when describing feelings toward the entire sentence: Hopefully, the war will end quickly with few civilian casualties.
Hopefully may also be used to mean "hopeful or with hope or in a hopeful manner" when describing how the subject of a sentence feels: Hopefully, the dog sat by the dinner table. (The dog is hopeful.) Hopefully, Carlos emailed his request for a vacation. (Carlos is hopeful.)

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