throughly or thoroughly

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prankstare

Senior Member
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.
 
  • Oschito

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    prankstare

    Senior Member
    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:

    The Babylon Dictionary said:
    ● thoroughly
    adv. comprehensively, deeply, with great detail

    ● throughly
    adv. in a thorough way; completely; thoroughly, comprehensively, deeply, with great detail
     

    scanner

    New Member
    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.
     

    scanner

    New Member
    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.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    'Throughly' is not correct modern 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.
    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.
     

    scanner

    New Member
    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.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    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."
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    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.)
    I have made my choice to use the more excellent and precise Modern English since it is superior to the low standard of today.
    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?
     

    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:
    throughly, adv. Pronunciation: /ˈθruːlɪ/
    Etymology: < through adv. or through adj. + -ly suffix2. See also thoroughly adv. arch.
    1. Fully, completely, perfectly; = thoroughly adv. 2.

    a1850 D. G. Rossetti Dante & Circle (1874) i. 85 "Mine inmost being then feels throughly quit Of anguish."
    1885 R. W. Dixon Hist. Church Eng. III. 451 "Hooper‥swept his unfortunate garner so throughly."
    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."
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    scanner

    New Member
    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>
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    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
     
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    scanner

    New Member
    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
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I am seriuosly maintaining that the KJV 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.
    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.)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    "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
    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!
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British 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>
    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.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English 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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