English Usage

With the new WordPress program I am using, I get notified when people link to a story.

Thursday I got a “pingback” about from

Motivate Grammar.”

The author, Gabe Doyle, “a fourth-year graduate student in Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego,” who is “a computational psycholinguist, which means that I use computers to model how people think about language,” was talking about the current use of “hopefully.”

In my article,

Indian Jones Coming to a Toy Store Near You,

I use it in the tradition way. It’s probably not because my mother, Eleanor Skinner, was an English teacher (and took her girl’s basketball team to a second place finish in Maryland’s state tournament in her first year of teaching in the mid-1930’s).

I think it’s because I took German and think of “hoffentlich’s” definition whenever I use the word “hopefully.” (Not that I could spell the German word after my last German class 48 years ago without looking it up.)

What’s it mean?

“It is to be hoped,” the traditional meaning of “hopefully.”

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