1. I accept that I am under the control of a higher power (Muppet).


According to traditionalists, hopefully means in a hopeful way, not I hope. You'll keep them (and me) happy by avoiding hopefully in formal writing; use I hope, we hope, I would like, or, what's often best of all, leave it out altogether. It's the paradigmatic example of a skunked term.

Hopefully is an adverb which means what it ought to--"full of hope" or "characterized by hope." It normally modifies verbs.

Nonstandard English sometimes substitutes the word hopefully for I hope (or some other subject with the verb hope).

Correct: They listened hopefully for the sound of the rescue party.
(They listened with hope)

Incorrect: Hopefully, they will come in time.

Correct: I hope they will come in time.
Permalink grammarrrrrrrrrrrrrrru 
March 9th, 2007 1:07pm
>According to traditionalists

Or "people who don't matter".
Permalink Impractical Economist 
March 9th, 2007 1:09pm
Would it be better to return to the English of Shakespeare?

Languages evolve.
Permalink Send private email Aaron F Stanton 
March 9th, 2007 1:09pm

"If there are problems with hopefully, they are not problems restricted to this one word. If "I hope" is more accurate or more direct--which is is not, necessarily--then one is free to use it instead, but similar arguments could be made about many other words or constructions."

Prescribe it for yourself if you wish, but leave the rest of us out of it, moron :-P
Permalink pedantry run amok 
March 9th, 2007 1:13pm
Merriam Webster states, "the second use of hopefully is entirely standard."

The technical term it uses is a disjunct, or more specifically a sentence adverb. Other examples of disjuncts  are 'unfortunately', 'strangely enough', 'mercifully', 'honestly' and 'surprisingly'.

There are occasions when it is not clear whether we are dealing with an adjunct or a sentence adverb.  However this is rare. The example given in Wikipedia,
"Hopefully, the sun will be shining tomorrow."
could only be misinterpreted by the most idiotic acolyte of the pathetic fallacy. There is also the question of placement in the sentence. Where the word is a disjunct it will normally come at the beginning of the sentence, and also will normally be delimited by commas; where it is an adjunct describing the verb it will often come elsewhere in the sentence, and as it forms an integral part, will not be delimited by a comma:
He ran up the stairs hopefully, only to find the person in the bathroom was the plumber, and not his long lost wife.

To put it succintly, you and the inaptly named 'tradtionalists' have got it all wrong. Hopefully, you've learned something.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
March 9th, 2007 4:54pm
Hopefully, I won't make this mistake again!
Permalink grammarrrrrrrrrrrrrrru 
March 9th, 2007 7:56pm

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