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Using 'Wonders' as 'Significantly' Options
Tella
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 4:59:26 AM
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Hello there,

I'm trying to figure out whether I may take the psuedo-adverb 'Wonders' which as I currently understand only works in the idiom 'Work/Do wonders'. I can swear to have once heard somebody say something to the effect of "Your skill has improved wonders!"

Thoughts?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 5:13:07 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Tella!

I don't see it as a 'pseudo-adverb' - I see it as a noun.

work n
29. (tr) to effect or accomplish: to work one's revenge.

wonder
3.a. An extraordinary or remarkable act or achievement: That teacher has worked wonders with these students.
b. An event inexplicable by the laws of nature; a miracle.

Collins English Dictionary

"Work wonders" = "accomplish marvellous results".

EDITED to add:
I don't like the second example you gave - it doesn't sound right to me.

*************
There IS a very similar 'pseudo-adverb', but it is the adjectival form "wondrous".
It's very rare - mostly heard in song, poetry and dialect from the far north-east of Britain and Scottish Borders (possibly the Danish influence).



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 5:32:46 AM

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I agree - there is a noun
this product works wonders
this product works miracles
I don't think you can call it a pseudo-adverb. It is a noun, in an idiom using the plural noun.

adjectives
wonderful wondrous
and adverbs
wonderfully, wondrously

I suspect your 'wondrous deep' is purely from when adjectives were used much more loosely as adverbs (surviving in the American style) - maybe before Victorian grammarians said 'this is not how it works in Latin, so we will forbid it in English?

And it just sounds so much more profound in old-fashioned language.
Tella
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 6:26:59 AM
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Joined: 8/13/2014
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Oh well, unlucky me, I reckon. Really wanted to use wonders as an adverb.

Thank you both :D
thar
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 6:29:35 AM

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Well, you can always play with words and make new ways of saying things - but maybe not when giving a compliment.
Keep it for the obscure prose. Whistle
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 6:40:03 AM

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Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
You're right - it really does sound better like that than
"River Annan's very wide,
and my girl Annie's very pretty."

You may well be right - the 'native' language in this area (I'm right on the north-western edge of it really) is a mix of Anglian, British, Danish, Scots Gaelic, and Scottish (English) - noticeably less Norman than most.

The use of "wondrous deep" doesn't sound like Scottish, really - but could well be early modern English.
It mainly comes up (as an adverb) as 'wondrous deep', 'wondrous wide', 'wondrous bonny' and 'wondrous free' - but that's just because those phrases are contained in many printed versions of the same four songs. It even occurs in some rare versions of Shenandoah.
As an adjective, it comes up mainly in hymns.

The same period contains the colonisation, the start of "American English" and the spread of many lyrics using local idioms - which were later "standardised" by the likes of Child, Cecil Sharp and Lucy Broadwood. Some songs went to America or Australia in one idiom and came back in a totally different dialect, with a different tune.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Romany
Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 4:07:54 PM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Drago, it appears to still be used down in the real South. I mean not the Brighton, Hasting, kind of "South", but Devon, Cornwall.

I've some friends from that area and "I'm wondrous fond of a nice fried fish." was a sentence I heard recently.

And, of course "powerful" is used by everyone who wants to speak like a horny-handed son of toil: "powerful partial to..." "powerful attracted to..." and even, sometime "fearsome" is used too.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 2:07:07 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Ah! I'd forgotten that - it's a long time since I lived in Plymouth.
I do remember 'powerful' being used (though you have to use the proper accent to make it sound right).

I have heard 'fearsome' - but much more often 'awful'.

"I'm awful tired; can't we stop for a while?"

I guess thar may well be right - it was more normal in 17th or 18th century English and it just remained in American and Dialectical versions.

*************
Tella - the result of all our 'woffle' is that it would not be incorrect (but it would be unusual) to say "Your skill is wondrous improved!" or
"You're wondrous skilful!"


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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