Usage and Grammar

Q. I received the following comment and would appreciate any feedback on its accuracy. “The word officially is an adverb. In spoken English it often precedes a verb. However, in formal, written English, the adverb should always follow the verb. Hence officially follows the verb announced.”

A. Well, that’s just nonsense! When you receive a comment like that, you should politely ask for the source of the rule. I can promise you, there is no authoritative source for this rule. Although adverb placement can certainly affect meaning and emphasis, and there are conventions and idioms that apply, they cannot be reduced to a rule as simple as the one you cite. (Tip: The word always in an alleged grammar rule is a sure sign that it’s bogus.)