Thursday, September 26, 2013

on writing - some thoughts on adjectives

The adjective is the enemy of the noun.   - Voltaire

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.
– Clifton Fadiman 

When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but
kill most of them — then the rest will be valuable. They weaken
when close together. They give strength when they are wide apart.
- Mark Twain

I think my mistakes were kind of common - leaning on cliches and
adjectives in the place of clear, vivid writing. But at least I knew
how to spell, which seems to be a rarity these days.
- Dick Schaap   

By Francois

If you need three adjectives to describe something, then you've
probably chosen the wrong something.   - Roger Rosenblatt  

[The adjective] is the one part of speech first seized upon and worked
to death by novices and inferior writers.   - J.I. Rodale

[Whoever writes in English] is struggling against vagueness, against
obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective. 
- George Orwell

Most adjectives are also unnecessary. Like adverbs, they are sprinkled
into sentences by writers who don’t stop to think that the concept is
already in the noun.   - William Zinsser

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