Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Difference Is Duly Noted

The following post caught my attention today: “Dually noted.”

While I would (almost) never presume to correct someone's post directly, I felt that this one deserved some attention here. When you want to use “due” as an adverb, you drop the e and add the -ly suffix. The poster above intended to let the person to whom he or she responded know that their point was worth noting and that it had been.

If you exercise due caution, you are being duly cautious. If the person with whom you are talking says something that is due your attention, you tell them that it is duly noted and thus clarify that it has received that attention.

You can substitute properly, promptly, or appropriately for duly. What you can't do is add extra letters. The phrase “dually noted” means that you've not only made a note of something, but that you've done so twice or in two places. I suppose that would be a higher compliment, but one that would be inaccurate and unintended in most cases.