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."

Any thoughts?

Leonard Schiefer

Chief Copy Editor

Electronic Products Magazine