First or firstly for enumeration

First и firstly для перечисления

«Do not dress words up by adding ‘ly’ to them, as though putting a hat on a horse.»

Фраза принадлежит E. B. White, соавтору Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style (1959)

Цитирую неизвестного мне автора из Интернета:

Ultimately, the choice is one of style: Since first is a perfectly good adverb just as it stands, there is no need for the -ly.

Выбор между first/ firstly для перечисления не такой уж и сложный. Оба варианта имеют право на существование, выбор зависит от стиля. Firstly считается более официальным вариантом и, как пишут знатоки языка, чаще употребляется в Великобритании, чем в Америке, где предпочитают first.
Кроме того, вариантом с -ly (firstly, secondly, thirdly) ограничиваются при небольшом перечислении, так как fifthly, sixthly, eleventhly и так далее режут слух.

Вот что пишет wictionary:

Usage notes

  • Whether it is proper to use «firstly», rather than «first», has often been disputed.
    • Beginning in the early 19th century with de Quincey, who erroneously believed that «firstly» was a neologism, some have argued against the use of «firstly», advocating the sequence: «First», «secondly», «thirdly», ….
    • The usage of «firstly» is also deprecated by some modern style guides. The Chicago Manual of Style further recommends that all such -ly forms be avoided, and that list items begin only with «first», «second», and so forth.
    • Other authorities disagree.
    • The American Heritage Dictionary comments:

It is well established that either first or firstly can be used to begin an enumeration: Our objectives are, first (or firstly), to recover from last year’s slump.

  • The Oxford English Dictionary notes the dispute but does not pass judgment: «many writers prefer first, even though closely followed by secondly, thirdly, etc.»
  • «Firstly» may appear more formal than «first» and is often recommended for the formal enumeration of arguments.

На одном из англоязычных форумов обсуждался вопрос употребления first/firstly. Мнение носителя языка:

They both sound fine to me, but the «ly» ones quickly get boring. If you find yourself saying «tenthly» then you’ve definitely gone too far!

Ещё одно высказывание:

It’s a matter of choice, but you must be consistent.


Firstly adverb

used to introduce the first of a list of points you want to make in a speech or piece of writing

There are two reasons for this decision: firstly

Usage note: first
Ordering your points

This study has the following aims: first, to investigate how international students in the UK use humour; second, to examine how jokes can help to establish social relationships; and, third, to explore the role that humour plays in helping overseas students adjust to life in the UK.

Usage note: firstly / first of all / at first
Firstly and first (of all) are used to introduce a series of facts, reasons, opinions, etc:

The brochure is divided into two sections, dealing firstly with basic courses and secondly with advanced ones.

Firstly is more common in British English than in North American English.

Правило: если хочешь перечислить что-то, бери или first, second, third, etc или наречия с -ly, но не смешивай, придерживайся одного варианта.

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