Simple Liberty  



Reflections From The Front Porch

Adjectives and Adverbs

Written by Darrell Anderson.

I distrust adjectives and adverbs. Not the descriptive adjective or adverb, but the type of word used to sell an idea. In such a context, adjectives and adverbs are not helpful and tend to cloud discussions and debates.

For example, I might write, “The pump operated smoothly.” I could declare only that the pump operated, but without the word smoothly the sentence is vague and less meaningful. That kind of descriptive word is useful.

However, within the atmosphere of discussion and debate I tend to distrust adjectives and adverbs. For example, I could write, “John Doe’s argument is flawed because . . . .” Conversely, I can sell my statement by adding an adverb — “John Doe’s argument is clearly flawed because . . . .”

Notice the emotion and alienation of such words. Also notice that eliminating the adverb creates no comprehension challenges. Yet, eliminating the word removes a barrier from meaningful discourse.

I tend to discredit an author when I read a polemic or essay using many adjectives and adverbs. Why? Because the author is not arguing objectively, or debating intellectually, but more than likely is beating around the bush. Soapboxing. If a statement has merit then write or speak accordingly. Adding adjectives and adverbs tends to display a lack of confidence and clouds meaningful discussion.

Let your Yea be Yea and your Nay be Nay. Those are only my thoughts, but start paying attention to adjectives and adverbs. Obviously you should see my point.


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