do it slower

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hamlet

Senior Member
Français (FR)
If you heard someone say "do it slower!" would you disturb you or is it correct and natural to your ears?
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Well, it would disturb me:)

    I would want the sentence to read "Do it more slowly".

    But I have seen AmE speakers (in particular) argue that "slow" is now an adverb ...
     

    kitenok

    Senior Member
    I could easily tolerate slower as the comparative form of the adverb slow. Per the OED, slow is kosher as an adverb back to about 1500. Shakespeare and Milton are in league with those silly AmE speakers who would use slow as an adverb;) From Midsummer Night's Dream:
    But oh, me thinkes, how slow This old Moon wanes.
    But, hamlet, it is worth knowing that many people will agree with Loob that the adverb is slowly and its comparative is more slowly. You can't go wrong using these forms.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Which just goes to show that AmE is truer to the language of Shakespeare than BrE is!:D
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    More apposite even:

    Shakespeare used slower adverbially: Lear in Act 1,2 Edmund says: I pray you, have a continent forbearance till the spied of his rage goes slower;

    So do quite a lot of respectable writers, H.G.Wells, Virginia Woolf, R.L.Stevenson, to mention a few.

    Often it's used in expressions like slower and slower, where more and more slowly might seem pedantic, or slower in contrast to quicker, which strict people, like Loob and me, dislike just as much.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm at college so everything with DO and IT in it are dirty :p
    Do you mean it has sexual overtones, Italia? I'd hate to think that the manner in which we are procreated was regarded as dirty. Isn't this just a code word for sexual? Certainly I couldn't hear the expression without suspecting the person using it of double entendre.

    But 'do it more slowly' would be just as bad, wouldn't it?

    P.S. It's just struck me that in Mendelssohn's Elijah in the great contest with the prophets of Baal, Elijah says to the prophets of Baal, Call him louder and it's never troubled me. The First Book of Kings didn't make that mistake: the passage runs - And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said: 'Cry aloud; for he is a god; either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.'
     
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