Hopefully, Change Won't Be Difficult

May
2012

I was taught that the word hopefully means “in a hopeful manner” or “full of hope.” Authors who start a sentence with the word hopefully usually mean “I (we) hope” or “it is hoped” — which is an incorrect usage of the word.

In The Elements of Style, Strunk and White make this point quite adamantly: “This once-useful adverb meaning ‘with hope’ has been distorted and is now widely used to mean ‘I hope’ or ‘it is to be hoped.’ Such use is not merely wrong, it is silly. To say, ‘Hopefully I’ll leave on the noon plane’ is to talk nonsense. 

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