Friday, January 22, 2010

I hope "hopefully" isn't a problem for you.

Are you one of those purists who hates hearing someone use a sentence such as “Hopefully the rain has stopped.”


Good, because as changes in the English language go, this one appears here to stay.

Many of us have been corrected by someone at some point for saying “Hopefully he’ll be here soon” instead of “Let us hope he will be here soon."

The person doing the correcting probably pointed out that the word hopefully is an adverb and should only be used to mean in a hopeful manner, as in ”Are you leaving soon?“ she asked hopefully.

Fortunately, most grammarians now agree that hopefully has joined other introductory words such as fortunately, sadly, happily, frankly, words that we use to describe the statement that follows.

And frankly, my dear, I’m thrilled that we now accept hopefully to mean...well, hopefully.

Does that make sense?