Eliza’s link in the Costermongers thread yielded this statement:
The Pearly tradition has survived for over 125 years and hopefully it will continue for many more to come.
Twenty years ago, William Safire excoriated this usage as a hopelessly illogical modernism, pedestrianism, and bad-style-ism. The problem is that it means literally “in a hopeful manner” in the same way that thoughtfully means “in a thoughtful manner”. In fact, people use it to mean “it is to be hoped that” or “the author hopes that”. Perhaps that is some kind of parallel to the Latin gerund (I think) in the same vein as Amanda, a “girl to be loved”.
Frankly, I use hopefully all the time and it bothers me only slightly, but it bothers me nevertheless. OTOH, people do say thankfully and gratefully in much the same way as hopefully.
“Thankfully, the Queen of England did not lay claim to ownership of Williamsburg during her recent visit. That would have caused international chaos and confusion in as much as no one could have sorted out whether the United States as the most prominent world power or Britain as the original colonizer had priority of rights over the other.”