throughly or thoroughly

Discussion in 'English Only' started by prankstare, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil
    What's the difference between the two adverbs "throughly" and "thoroughly" and when should I use one rather than the other? Can I use them interchangeably? I generally use "thoroughly" but a lot of people on this forum have been using "throughly" instead and that kind of got me into question.

    Give out usage examples if possible. Thanks very much.
     
  2. Oschito Senior Member

    Midwest, United States
    English, USA
    I would always use "thoroughly".

    I wasn't even aware "throughly" was a word, and if I'm not mistaken, "throughly" is either an archaic version of "thoroughly", or just a misspelling.
     
  3. Kevman Senior Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    USA English
    I just did a Google search for "throughly" on the WordReference site, and every single result that came back was a misspelling of thoroughly.
     
  4. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Umm, okay. So always use "thoroughly" instead of "throughly". :)

    But can anybody give a sample sentence in which "throughly" would fit?

    I was wondering about this because my Babylon dictionary says both adverbs mean virtually the same thing:

     
  5. Oschito Senior Member

    Midwest, United States
    English, USA
  6. prankstare Senior Member

    São Paulo
    Portuguese - Brazil

    Alright. I think that information is enough to terminate the issue. :)

    Thanks very much Oschito and all of you who responded to this thread.
     
  7. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    Thoroughly and Throughly can be thought of as an outside versus inside starting point.
    Thoroughly works on the issue from the outside towards the inside.
    Throughly works from the inside toward the outside.
    It is like the difference between Hindu philosophy and Bible believing Christianity.
     
  8. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    'Throughly' is not correct modern English.
     
  9. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    You mean it is not commonly used in Late Modern English (1800 to present). It was most certainly used in Modern English (1500-18000. Go to the English Club or a similar site to see the correct time periods of the English language.

    Throughly is as correct today as it was 400 years ago. Just because a word is not in common usage does not make it incorrect: it makes that word uncommon. I have made my choice to use the more excellent and precise Modern English since it is superior to the low standard of today. Besides, using uncommon words gives people a chance to learn something and appreciate the English language all the more.
     
  10. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    But wandle used a small m for modern English - meaning , well, modern and not meaning Modern English which might well be some linguistic term meaning something else :D

    I would also thoroughly recommend against using the word throughly, at least this century.
     
  11. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    I am throughly satisfied with my thorough response to the issue at hand.
     
  12. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    From the current dictionary here at WordReference. (based, I believe, on the Concise OED) Archaic is about right term based on this comparison!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  13. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    The fact that "throughly" is termed "archaic" today only means that the people who write dictionaries are merely making a written record of the degeneration of the English language. There are many words that have fallen from common usage and others that have been perverted to mean something entirely different from what the word really means.

    My point is that throughly does not mean the same thing as thoroughly. Some ignorant slave to vulgarity may fail to see the distinction.

    I do not let dictionaries assume the place of final authority in my understanding of English. Good luck reading Shakespeare, Dickens or Swift if all you have is the WordReference dictionary or the Concise OED.

    Our culture would be better off if we employed the language of the Golden Age of English rather than settle down in the limited sphere of today's degenerate English.
    No one will ever use throughly unless they have been informed of the word's actual meaning. It will continue to await those who do not settle for the standard set by lazy English departments and blind leaders of the blind.
     
  14. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Anyone who says or writes "throughly" today will not be understood by most English speakers, or will (more likely) be thought to have made an error.

    Theoretical questions of whether it exists as a word now, when it was used in the past, what it ought to mean, and so on are fine topics for academic debates, but are quite irrelevant to someone who is trying to learn the language as it is used in the 21st century.

    The practical answer to an English learner: the word is "thoroughly."
     
  15. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Personally, I'm all in favour of keeping in touch with linguistic heritage, when practicable, but 'throughly' does seem a step too far.
    Chambers Dictionary online does not have it:
    http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/features/chref/chref.py/main?title=21st&query=throughly
    Nor does Longmans online:
    http://www.ldoceonline.com/spellcheck/?q=throughly
    M-W online says it is archaic:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/throughly
    archaic: in a thorough manner
    Chambers English Dictionary 1990 (print) has:
    throughly:
    - same as thoroughly (obsolete)
    - far through (archaic)


    I would respect the judgement of Chambers, as a sound scholarly publication.
    Is it unreasonable to say that a word which is obsolete, or at best archaic, is not correct modern English? (As JulianStuart points out, this is not a reference to that older form of English called Modern English, but to modern usage.)
    That sounds to be a considerable academic exercise for yourself, let alone your listeners. May I ask which part of the period 1500 to 1800 you particularly imitate?
     
  16. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I have never seen "throughly" in print (or heard it in speech). If it were still in use, I think I would have come across it here and there.
     
  17. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    The OED has an entry for it and gives examples as late as 1885, although it gives it as archaic rather than obsolete:
    Looking at the etymology, through and thorough are the same word. It gives a comparison along the lines of, "He is a Tory through and through" and "He is thoroughly Tory."
     
  18. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    Wales
    British English
    Here's a quote from the Bible (King James's version). 2 Timothy 3.16-17. 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God my be perfect, throughly finished unto all good works.' So it means something like 'perfectly', 'completely'. Yes, it's archaic. You'd probably get blank looks if you used it these days.
     
  19. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    The quote from the King James Bible is a great example of the proper use of the word throughly. God's word works from the inside out while religion works from the outside in and that is a huge difference.

    <deletion>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
  20. Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    SW London
    British English
    <Deletion>

    Far more important, are you seriously maintaining that only Christians who have read the Bible in the KJV can speak correct English? I like freedom too- to believe as I wish, and read what I want so long as it is within laws framed through democratic process.

    Hermione
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2012
  21. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    "Far more important, are you seriously maintaining that only Christians who have read the Bible in the KJV can speak correct English? I like freedom too- to believe as I wish, and read what I want so long as it is within laws framed through democratic process." -Hermione

    I am seriuosly maintaining that the KJB was written when the English language was at it's zenith. I also prefer a large vocabulary that does not include the vulgarity so common today.

    I am against the democratic process where it involves mob rule.

    That's it for me.

    -Out
     
  22. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Who decides the zenith? How do you think the English of King James' time came about? (By the way, you're probably probably spelling and pronouncing a lot of words incorrectly since there have been spelling changes and some vowel shifting since 1600. The word "mob" (from the 1680s) is too new for you to use, and "democratic" is right on the cusp.)
     
  23. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    No vulgarity? So Shakespeare's vocabulary doesn't qualify, then.
     
  24. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Well, at least you use an old version of its ( the one with the apostrophe still present :D). I am familiar with parents complaining of the language their children use, because it's not what they grew up with but going back more than ten generations is a little unusual!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  25. scanner New Member

    Celebration, FL
    English
    True 'dat homes.
     
  26. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Indeed, a perfect example of an obsolete use, with the last recorded example for that particular meaning in the OED dating from 1692.

    I find it bizarre that anybody should think that "Our culture would be better off if we employed the language of the Golden Age of English rather than settle down in the limited sphere of today's degenerate English". When was that golden age? It is less than 400 years ago that Londoners struggled to understand people who lived on the banks of the lower reaches of the tidal River Thames. (See Pepys Diaries for examples). It is still the case that my wife sometimes struggles to understand a Glaswegian or a Geordie because of dialect and pronunciation. The changes that have occurred in English are the natural development of a living language and they tend, if anything, towards more universal intelligibility. Attempting to pickle English in some supposedly golden aspic is pointless - indeed, as throughly pointless as using throughly in modern speech.
     
  27. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Moderator note: This is all great fun, obviously. But, sadly, it's all just the tweentsiest bit off-topic. The original question has been answered several times over. This thread is now closed.
     
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