Usage and Grammar

Q. As an editor, I am usually a big fan of the dictionary, as well as a generally obedient disciple. However, I was shocked to see that my dictionary allows “timely” to be used as an adverb. Is it true? I feel betrayed. I have spent a lot of time changing “Policies were implemented timely” to “Policies were implemented in a timely manner.” Do I need to find a new dictionary?

A. Keep your dictionary, but change your approach. That use of “timely” is obscure, if not obsolete, so change it—but not to a cliché like “in a timely manner.” Pick a more precise adverb: immediately, over the next three days, by the deadline.