Thursday, March 17, 2011


First - Schoolhouse Rock is goes through my mind any time I write about adjectives, nouns, adverbs (Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your adverbs here)! Ah, the memories of Saturday morning cartoons.

Second - adjectives fall into that pesky little rule category. Follow or ignore, it's all up to you.

Anyhow, I get a daily email from www. They always have neat emails. Tuesday's email was about adjectives. More importantly, it was about the use of strong versus weak adjectives.

Adamant - hard
Baleful - foreboding
Corpulent - obese
Guileless - innocent
Turgid - swollen
Zealous - eager

Okay, they gave a list of 100, which I'm not repeating here. I think you can find them on their website.

The point - adjectives are not always a bad thing. Sometimes, the lovely little adjective that modifies a noun is, well, adroit (i.e., clever) - Ha!!

So, before you follow the rule about limited use of adjectives, perhaps considering the type of adjective (strong vs. weak) might be a better option.

One personal note - a lot of the strong adjectives are words that a good portion of people wouldn't know right off the top of their heads. In my writing, I consider the following question: do I want my readers to have to stop and look up a word, or should I use a more common word that everybody knows?

I normally take the second option, solely because - well, when not using my Kindle which has a built in dictionary - I don't want to stop, go find the dictionary, look up the word, and get back to reading. It's easier with the Kindle, but, still, don't really like having to look up a strange word.

So, if it twere (yes, twere) me, I would use strong, but identifiable adjectives so my readers don't have to go to extra effort to figure out what the word means.

How about you? Strong or weak adjectives? Do you adhere to the limited use of adjectives rule?


Oh - HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!! May you always dance like nobody's watching, and hope they're not videoing it in case you're a really bad dancer. Just saying . . . Ha!!

1 comment:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Like all rules, it's got its purpose, but nothing to say it can't be bent or broken once in a while. :)