This is a rather technical sentence, including two adjectives which I want to use as adverbs. I would like to know if I used them properly or not - and if not, how can I say it better?

We simulate the way a human user scans a web page bottom-up or top-down to find his data of interest.

  • 2
    Your example usage is fine, but I'll just tweak the rest of your text to suit. Jul 5, 2015 at 19:41
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    Far less technical than your nested context scenarios :) I'd suggest you change "human user" to "person". Then it will sound as though your text had been written by a human writer.
    – TimR
    Jul 6, 2015 at 18:50
  • It would make for better readability if we set aside the adjective-adverbial issues and chuck the hyphen as well: "We simulate the way a human user scans a web page bottom up or top down to find his data of interest." -- Why complicate?
    – Kris
    Dec 24, 2017 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


Your sentence is fine. Top-down and bottom-up aren't inherently adjectives; they're locative expressions, which can be employed adjectivally, adverbially and even nominally as needed.

ADJECTIVAL: I'm a firm proponent of top-down programming.
ADVERBIAL:   I usually program top-down.
NOMINAL:      Top-down is my usual programming method.

Be warned: this is my own idiosyncratic use of locative, which embraces expressions designating paths and targets as well as 'locations' in the ordinary sense. If someone wants to suggest a better term I'll be happy to entertain it.

  • See also: My comment at OP.
    – Kris
    Dec 24, 2017 at 12:20

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