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Usage and Grammar
Q. I’m writing an article for an academic journal. I frequently use the word “effectively,” as in “Effectively, US tax on those earnings could be deferred indefinitely.” I looked the word up in the dictionary, and it does mean something. But does it really add anything to a sentence like that above? Is there any style rule on this or a similar word? I’m thinking of just editing this word out everywhere it appears.
A. The word might not serve effectively in every sentence, but it’s a valid word. It’s appropriate when what follows is practically but not literally true: Effectively, by enforcing the strict interpretation of the law, the jury signed the defendant’s death warrant. (In other words, the jury didn’t actually sign a death warrant.)