Meaning of BASICALLY ADVERB in English

In short, putting it bluntly, actually. (Usually in speech and often used at the beginning of a sentence or clause.) Etymology: A weakened sense of the adverb, which originally meant 'essentially, fundamentally, at root'. The weakening arises as much from the way in which the word is used (a 'sentence' adverb) as from the context; the result is a word which in most cases is redundant, adding nothing to the sense and simply giving the speaker time to think. Purists object to it in much the same way as they do to hopefully used at the beginning of a clause. History and Usage: Although it had been in use in speech for some decades, it only became really fashionable to use basically in this almost meaningless way during the late seventies, when it took over from actually as a favourite 'filler'. The fashion may have been reinforced by the increased influence of the recorded television interview: the interviewee, anxious to reply succinctly enough to be sure of having the whole answer broadcast but also wanting to make it clear that this was not all that could be said on the subject, would prefix the reply with basically. Whether or not it once had a legitimate purpose, basically used in this way fast became a clich÷ and passed from spoken English into the written language as well. I'm not political, you know, basically I don't know the first thing about politics or economics or all that LSE-type crap, despite what you think. Stephen Gray Time of Our Darkness (1988), p. 142 'Basically I got served off the court,' she admitted. 'She served unbelievably well. I couldn't get the ball back in that last set.' Guardian 10 July 1989, p. 15 In a few cases, Western women who were told to report with their husbands to pick up their exit visas had to watch the men taken away by security officials, presumably adding to Saddam's human shield. 'They basically traded the husband for the visa,' said a Western diplomat. Washington Post 2 Sept. 1990, section A, p. 1

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.