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'Propulsive' the adjective is in the dictionary. However 'propulsively' the adverb is not. It also shows up in spell checks as a misspelling. I can not find this word in any dictionary anywhere. However adverbs such as 'compulsively' are listed.

What grammar rule would determine whether or not 'propulsively' is an actual word? If it is an actual word, why would it not be listed in any dictionaries along side adverbs such as 'compulsively'? Is it acceptable to just add 'ly' to an adjective and its magically an adverb...in the dictionary or not?
Propulsively confused,

- Steve
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Yeah, it seems it's not a word... how curious, lol. Emotion: smile
But I can imagine engineers, physicists, mathematicians, technicians, nerds and geeks using that word if necessary. I know those kinds of people have no problems making up new words to say what they want, as long as they make sense theoretically.
I think you can use it
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So, I spoke to an english professor last night and I was told...
A verb can not be described as 'propulsive', therefore it is not an adverb. "The bat propulsively affected the ball" is incorrect. However, "The effect of the bat was propulsive" is correct. When you say "Propulsively affected" you are actually trying to describe the EFFECT of the verb and not the verb itself. The act itself of 'affecting' the ball is not propulsive - the effect of said 'affecting' is propulsive, which means you're describing a NOUN not a verb and an adjective needs to be used, not an adverb.

Further, he says, "propulsive can't describe any verb nor any adjective accept itself. No action can be propulsively anything except...propulsive."
I found that to be a very interesting explanation and thought I'd share.
Listen, I could care less what someone says or if it's in the dictionary, it is already used by highly-educated native-speaking experts in the field, in books. Check Google Books:

443 on propulsively
http://books.google.com/books?q=propulsively&btnG=Search+Books
This says that the dictionaries are already behind the times.
That's understood. You can use it if you want. I'm asking about it in the context of grammar and it is grammatically incorrect. I'm sure you could do a google search and find tons of books where highly educated native speaking experts end their sentences with prepositions. How many books contain a sentence like . . "that's what she needed to go to the store for."? Countless. It's fine. You can say it. But that sentence is not grammatically correct. It sounds fine. People say and type it all the time. But, it is absolutely not grammatically correct.
I'm not arguing with you. I just think you are misunderstanding the context of the question. 'Propulsively' as an adverb is not grammatically correct.
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AnonymousI'm sure you could do a google search and find tons of books where highly educated native speaking experts end their sentences with prepositions. How many books contain a sentence like . . "that's what she needed to go to the store for."? Countless. It's fine. You can say it. But that sentence is not grammatically correct. It sounds fine. People say and type it all the time. But, it is absolutely not grammatically correct.
Sorry, Anon, but YOU are the one who is incorrect. It's perfectly grammatical to end sentences with prepositions. *IF* there was ever a rule saying that doing so is not grammatical, that rule is entirely obsolete, even in formal writing. To say otherwise is "the type of nonsense up with which I will not put," to borrow a famous quote.
AnonymousPeople say and type it all the time. But, it is absolutely not grammatically correct.
What people say all the time is automatically and by definition part of a certain variety and register of English, and it's grammatical according to the grammar of that kind of English. Since preposition at the end are absolutely common and natural in every variety and register of English, they are always grammatical and no one can say or prove it's wrong to do so for any reason. A different example is "It don't matter". It's not part of every variety and register, so you can say it's not grammatical if used in certain contexts, but it is nevertheless grammatical in other varieties and registers of English.
That said, "propulsively" is a technical word, used mainly by people who study or work in a technical field, so it's difficult to know how good it is, unless you are one of those people. What I can say is that those people have no problems using words that don't exist, as long as the terms sound reasonably good and make sense. I would use it, "propulsively", it doesn't sound bad and it makes sense... Marius found that word in books that seems to come from lots of American engineering associations, so... I'd say it's actually in use.
Just my opinion. Emotion: smile
Well, since you are the grammar geek then I have no option but to accept your answer. I have no rebuttal other than, "that's not what I was taught my whole life". I went to private schools and was taught, I guess, classic grammar. So, needless to say, I would basically be hit with a ruler if I ended a sentence with a preposition or if I used an adverb incorrectly.
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