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    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #1

    is firstly correct

    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?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: is firstly correct

    Quote Originally Posted by sameer1728 View Post
    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've met this 'rule', but I don't believe many current authorities enforce it; Swan, for example - 157.10 - allows both. My own view is that a list that mixes a cardinal with ordinals (First, Secondly, Thirdly...) looks rather ungainly - but I recognize that people who do it do it because they were told to at school many years ago.

    b


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #3

    Re: is firstly correct

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I've met this 'rule', but I don't believe many current authorities enforce it; Swan, for example - 157.10 - allows both. My own view is that a list that mixes a cardinal with ordinals (First, Secondly, Thirdly...) looks rather ungainly - but I recognize that people who do it do it because they were told to at school many years ago.

    b
    got it but what's your advice being a teacher of English in England?
    Should I continue following the rule?

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: is firstly correct

    Quote Originally Posted by sameer1728 View Post
    got it but what's your advice being a teacher of English in England?
    Should I continue following the rule?
    Well I don't; I think enforcing it is just adding another inconsistency to the already daunting morass of inconsistencies that face English language learners.

    b

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    #5

    Question Re: is firstly correct

    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)?

    Nyggus

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #6

    Re: is firstly correct

    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.'

    Read more here...


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #7

    Re: is firstly correct

    Hello Bobk,
    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"

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #8

    Re: is firstly correct

    Quote Originally Posted by sameer1728 View Post
    "converts are more pure"
    So, which will you be using?


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
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    #9

    Re: is firstly correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    So, which will you be using?
    personally I prefer being conventional esspecially when it's about English.

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #10

    Re: is firstly correct

    And so...?

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