Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 12:52:00 EST
From: Electronic Products Magazine 0004276021[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MCIMAIL.COM
Subject: "Most importantly"
Can someone explain the use of "most importantly." In the New York Times
this morning, March 9, 1995, the lede story, "House passes bill that would
limit suits of investors," contains the following sentence:
"Most importantly, the bill raises the threshold needed to prove fraud."
I read and hear the adverb used incessantly. The adjective, "most important,"
is correct because the adverb would modify the verb, "raises." However, that
would change the emphasis of the sentence.
A friend offers the following explanation. In both the adjectival and adverbial cases, the modifier is implied in the sentence. For "most important," the
implied noun is "fact," as in "The most important fact is that the bill
raises . . ." For "most importantly," the implied verb is "does," as in "The
bill does most importantly raise . . ."
I suppose the same argument would apply to "firstly," "secondly," "thirdly" for "first," "second," "third."
Chief Copy Editor
Electronic Products Magazine
lschiefer[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]mcimail.com