Word Choice – Slow or Slowly

Julie’s question: “A few of us are in dispute over the use of the word ‘slow’ or ‘slowly.’ For example,The wound healed slow or The wound healed slowly.  I think either is fine, but my friend insists it should be ‘slowly’. Can you settle this?”

BizWritingTip response: I can see why this is confusing.  I often hear newscasters make the wrong choice.

Adjectives modify nouns. “Slow” is normally used as an adjective.

Examples (correct)
The economy is slow. (Slow is an adjective modifying the noun economy.)
He is slow of speech. (Slow is an adjective modifying the pronoun he.)
My father likes to drive in the slow lane. (Slow is an adjective modifying the noun lane.)

Words ending in “-ly” are normally adverbs. Adverbs tell how a verb is behaving.

The wound healed slowly. (How did the wound heal? Slowly.)
He waited patiently. (How did he wait? Patiently.)

Sorry, but I have to say your friend is right.