Real or Really?


WordThoughts

An article in today’s Los Angeles Times describes a house for sale in the lovely Rolling Hills area of the city where zoning laws allow only one-story homes. The owner found a way around this restriction by building an additional five stories underground.

The sub-headline states, “Rolling Hills limits homes to one story above ground, so one man went real deep.”

Really? “Real deep”? “Deep” is an adjective. “Real” is an adjective. It means “true” or “genuine.” Only an adverb can modify (give information about) an adjective. The Times writer needed “really.”

In case you might be interested in buying this house with ocean views, it has 50,000 square feet on eight acres, with nine bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, a guest house, a 10,000 square foot hammam (a Turkish- style bath), an olive grove so you can produce your own oil, three-foot- thick walls, secret passages…

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