My mother has two things in common with Donald Trump.
They both say they feel badly.
And they’re both mistaken.
What they intend to do is describe the feeling they have – in that case it’s not a good feeling.
Badly is an adverb. An adverb is a word that modifies, or describes a verb. An adverb typically answers what, how, when, where, why, how often, or how much.
For example: I type quickly. The adverb tells you at what speed I type.
Or, I type badly. The adverb tells you how well I type.
To feel is one of the senses. Like to see. If I say I see badly. You’d know I need glasses.
So Trump and mom are actually saying they’re doing a poor job of feeling.
Which was not the case with my mom. She was a sweetheart. But with Trump, on the other hand, it might be true.
During one episode of Celebrity Apprentice, Trump tried to correct Cyndi Lauper’s grammar:
Trump: “Who should I fire? Why don’t you just say Maria?”
Lauper: “Because I feel bad!”
Trump: “Badly. You feel badly.”
No Donnie, actually, she felt bad. Bad is the adjective that described her emotion.
So the next time you’re unhappy about something, go ahead and feel bad. Just don’t do it badly.
“Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
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