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Global Skywatch

adjectives, adverbs and other parts

dictionaryIn many circles, you could be forgiven for thinking the English language is very small with a certain four-letter f- word having deposed thousands of newly obsolete. There it is hugely versatile, replacing verbs, nouns, pronouns, and often being a complete declaratory sentence all by itself.

Adding ‘n at the end turns it into adjectives and adverbs. Traditional dictionaries and thesauruses are outmoded. So many words with no practical value whatsoever. Costs and environmental impacts of printing modern dictionaries would be approximately equal to that of printing comic books.

The trivial downside is its complete lack of meaning in normal usage.
Nearly every time it is uttered by those most fond finds the common definition completely at odds with the context.

Sarcasm aside, the color, texture, depth, breadth and ability of the English language to express myriad emotions, sensations and ideas is hampered by this radical surgery.

Words matter.
Ideas matter.
Thoughts matter.
Feelings matter.Rogets-Thesaurus

This dumbed-down language is both cause and effect of a dumbed-down society. As language gets lazy and bland, so too do ideas traverse the path to sameness, dullness and inconsequentiality. It is a short step from eliminating all color descriptors other than black and white to a world that is simply black and white.

I had a brief career in a department of corrections work release center. Prison sentences of 10 years could be reduced to 9 months of GOOD BEHAVIOR in Cottonwood. Needless to say, the incarcerated were motivated to follow the rules as best they could.

One day orders came down from the warden that we were to stop all profanity. That was asking for a rather dramatic change in culture, but it suited my personal feelings about language, so I took to it with creativity and probably much more sincerity than most of the old guard.

I posted lists of adjectives and adverbs on both floors of the unit I was running. When I heard a forbidden word, the offender had to stop whatever they were doing until they delivered in writing TEN other ways to express that thought. Their buddies who suddenly lost necessary partners in a card games or other activities helped each other eliminate the game-delaying habit. In less than a week the language in my unit was fit for polite company.

I share those lists with you here. Notice how much more color and texture there is when compared to the single word substitute so popular today.

Adjectives vs profanity

Adverbs vs profanity