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Good vs Well

Normally, I wouldn’t bother, because I’m not too much of a grammar Nazi. Maybe a mild one. I’m one of those liberal language folks who realizes language as a whole is gradually mutable, as determined by the masses.

Then I saw this comment on /., and it inspired me to finish the post:

Language is a dynamic, evolving thing. Decimated is no longer used to refer to the Roman army selecting 1 out of every 10 soldiers from a mutinous unit for execution; it’s fairly universally accepted to mean that a large portion of the subject group was destroyed. Words changing meaning can be annoying, but it’s part of the process of language. “Nice” was the first to go; it used to mean “infinitely fine and complex”, now it’s that white sofa in the Ikea catalogue. Isn’t that awesome?

Things like “die-sect” used to annoy me, though. There’s a double “s” folks! You “by-sect” and you “dis-sect.” But whatever, it’s too late. “Die-sect” has already been formally accepted. And English is rife with exceptions anyway. Though through tough times, I say unto thee, “Cool hwip.”

But, I’ve seen some particularly egregious mishandling of “good” vs “well” lately, so here’s a friendly refresher, so that as you consciously violate strict propriety, you can think back and marvel at the ways of yore:

“Good” is an adjective. Nouns are good.
“Well” is an adverb. Actions are done well.

Here’s a quick quiz:

This begs the question, “Did I just beg the question correctly?” And the answer is, “No one cares anymore.”


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2 Responses to “Good vs Well”

  1. Garret says:

    It should be noted, technically “well” can also be used as a noun, depending on the definition you may be using. =)

  2. Ron says:

    The well wells with water well? Well?

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