An english teacher once told me that while enumerating points ,you should never say"Firstly" .In good english "First " is more appropriate.
"secondly",Thirdly" are correct
Is it true?
I was once said that instead of using 'firstly', 'secondly', 'thirdly',... one might simply use 'first', 'second', 'third',... Is it a good rule for any writing (for example, academic writing)?
Here's a UK source: Dictionary of English - first <i>or</i> firstly
Here's a USA source: firstly, first. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993
This is from Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style:'The jury is still out on whether to use first or firstly, second or secondly, &c. Traditional usage had first, secondly, thirdly, but this is too inconsistent for modern taste. Most guides prefer just plain old first, second, third, and so forth, without the -ly ending.'
Here's one person's thoughts (from WORD COURT ARCHIVES)'“First,” “second” and “third” at the beginnings of sentences are traditional too. People have been using these words in this way for about 600 years. “Firstly” has almost as long a history, but “first” has two advantages: It’s a syllable shorter, and it sounds less pompous than “firstly.” '
Randomhouse.com's firstly vs first:In my undergraduate days, I had an English professor redline that word out of a paper I wrote, along with the terms (equally offensive to him) firstly, secondly, and lastly. He wrote next to each deletion the comment, "no such word" in bold, red ink. I've spent the last 15 years or so...editing memos and business letters to remove this use of "-ly" as a means of introducing a series of examples or arguments....After all this effort, is there really nothing wrong with firstly, secondly, or lastly?'Most usage authorities during the last half century, from Wilson Follett and Jacques Barzun (Modern American Usage, 1966) to The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage (1999), have pretty much agreed with your professor and recommended "No -ly," on the grounds that the extra syllable is...well...extra. A current, highly regarded usage book that remains neutral, acknowledging (with many citations) the historicity of both varieties, is Merriam Webster's Dictionary of English Usage.'
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YOu are right about inconsistancies but ironically we (people who use this language but is not our first language) love and respect it for it's "silly"rules/inconsistancies and wish to practice them.
it's like a saying "converts are more pure"