"Hopefully" doesn't mean "I hope"

It’s just like every other adjective turned adverb by an -ly suffix - it means “in a hopeful way”. If you say “Hopefully, I’ll get this job”, it means that you will get this job, and you’ll be hopeful as you’re getting it. That’s a odd thing to say. “Hopefully, I opened my Christmas present” is a much more apt usage of the word. Unfortunately, such correct usage would probaby confuse people now, so misapplied the word has been. Out of all other adverbs, why did only this word get so perverted? If you’re hoping something, don’t be afraid to specify that it’s you who is hoping with “I hope” or “I am hoping” instead of trying to conjure a state of generally felt hope by weirdly mismorphing an adverb into an interjection.

Thanks! You know, you’re right.

So can you suggest a vaible alternative for that maluseage?

Lost causes:

comprised of
lay down
feel badly

any more?


You’ve started two threads in the pit about three words. What word are you going to use for your next thread?

Have we lost “infer”? Really? Shit.

By the way, Pizzabrat, I said I was on your team in another thread, but you are going to have to learn when to pick your battles.

Perhaps, like Reeder being limited to one active Bush thread in the pit at a time, pizzabrat will be limited to one word nit-pick thread at a time.

Seriously Pizzabrat, shut the fuck up. You get more tiring and inane by the day.


Uh, did I say anything to you? Really, with the ignore feature, I don’t really “get” posts like this.


Haha - Pizzabrat is a glutton for punishment, methinks. Mea culpa - it was I who, in the “envy/jealousy” thread, agreed about those two words and joked that I would start a thread about “hopefully”.

People should be able to remember about “hopefully” merely by thinking of the old saying “to travel hopefully is better than to arrive”.

Sometimes I think these mistakes are useful, though, in that they can serve as a label meaning “I’m not very literate, so I am quite likely to be talking nonsense”.

Sometimes, also, I think we might be well advised to import the German word “hoffentlich” and allow people to use it.

Oh, and I dislike people, often politicians, who seem to quate"deny" with"refute". My cantankerous old fogey training is progressing quite well, I think. :slight_smile:

You’re only right about this one, for now, because the “Usage Panel” has sand in their vaginas.
If it’s all the same to you, I will continue to use ‘hopefully’ in the alleged incorrect sense simply because there is no good synonym, and one can only demurely sigh “With any hope, those darling Manolos can be found on eBay for half the price” so many times.

Or perhaps a label meaning “I have no sand in my vagina.”

Why not just say “I hope”?

Pizzabrat, what a word meant a century ago is not the sole measure of whether it should be accepted today.

“Hopefully”, in the sense you rail against, has been around since the early 20th century and in common usage for at least 50 years. It’s accepted in a variety of dictionaries, including the OED.

Let off some steam. I believe you’re in need of a stern rogering.

It would change the gist of the sentence in a manner so subtle I dare not attempt to explain it. Feel free to call this a cop-out if you must.
The best I can do, really, is to say that “hopefully” or “with any hope” insinuates that the thing one is hoping for is, or should be, universally hoped for by everyone, whether they know it or not [pretentious? Slightly]. “I hope” isolates the hope to the speaker.
I understand completely if that makes no sense to you whatsoever.

What’s the problem with pizzabrat posting threads like this? The Dope is supposed to be about fighting ignorance, isn’t it? And that’s what he’s doing. If you don’t like reading his nit-pik word threads, don’t click on 'em.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go lay down. I feel like relaxing and my new day bed is the epitome of comfort, comprised as it is of satin and down. Hopefully, no one will feel badly that I’ve gone, or come to infer that I deliberately said something I oughtn’t.


Bzzzt. You used “infer” correctly.

I’m not calling it a cop-out but I think you are talking about two different things. If you hope you are going to get a promotion you might say “I hope…” Why would this be universally hoped? There might conceivably someone who hopes for just the opposite; perhaps your competitor for the position? And to suggest that “hopefully” and “with any hope” are the same is to beg the question of the OP.

I agree with lambchops that the ship has sailed on this one. I was just suggesting to you that there is a perfectly good construction that describes what you want (I hope) rather than how you want it (hopefully).

Is that the same thing as a rogering astern?

Hopefully, pizzabrat will learn to relax about commonly accepted language usage.

Personally, I think he’s just jealous.