Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gigantically Enormous.

There is nothing quite so mind numbing when you are reading as the double adjective. Very common and easy to do when you are writing, as you want nothing more to get your point across, however, as a reader it always makes me feel as though the writer is uncertain of the level of my intelligence. As though they are thinking "One description word, surely that won't be enough for this crowd, I'd better put in a second in case the first is a little out of their league."

This was my Google Home Page's Word of the Day:

jaunty (adjective) Having a cheerful, lively, and self-confident air.
Synonyms:chipper, debonair
Usage:He moved very quickly, and there was an air of jaunty liveliness about him.

If you use lively in the definition, is it really necessary to use it in the sentence as well? Perhaps a better option would have been: He moved very quickly, and there was a jaunty air about him.
Just a small pet peeve for your contemplation...

1 comment:

  1. Actually, what grates on me more in that example is the passive voice in the second clause, which serves to deflate any liveliness in the sentence!

    Better would be "Quickly he moved, with a januty liveliness." Or, of course, "He moved quickly and jauntily."