'Well' isn't always an adverb, 'myriad' isn't always a noun ...

You learned about the parts of speech in grade school. Dog is a noun. Play is a verb. Quick is an adjective. Adverbs end in ly.

Now that you’re grown up, you can handle the unvarnished truth: Language, like life, isn’t so simple. Dog is both a noun and a verb. Play can also be a noun. Quick can be used as an adverb. Many adverbs don’t end in ly, like fast, and many words that end in ly are not adverbs, like family and lovely. Verbs come in different forms, including transitive, intransitive and linking. Adverbs come in different forms, like manner adverbs and sentence adverbs.

Ours is a complicated language. If we don’t understand word categories, we can fall victim to these common misperceptions: myriad can’t be used as a noun; impact can’t be used as a verb; like can’t be used as a conjunction; good can’t be used as an adverb; well is necessarily an adverb; hopefully is a manner adverb.

Here's my recent column explaining why these common myths don't give you the whole story.

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