Friday, 14 September 2012

Adjectives 6

Bland, sterile Birmingham

bird-witted: These characters, these bird-witted ladies whom I have characterized so often. (Billie Burke)

bland, sterile: 60s brutalism a “failed future”. Replaced in Birmingham by “bland, sterile millennial architecture”. (Culture Show BBC October 28, 2011)

bloated: too-long book, over-featured software

bomb-proof hairstyle (imdb comment)

brain-itching (@Suburbman/Hamish Thompson on BBC story about prime numbers)

bumper-sticker wisdom: e.g. Evolution is better than revolution. (see quilted sampler, teatowel etc)

caked: steel frames caked in pseudo-historical ornament (Owen Hatherley Guardian Jan 13 2012)

claustrophobically boring: a 50s book on things for children to “make and do” (commenter on The Age of Uncertainty)

commonplace: This girl thought herself rather beautiful and intelligent, even though she was really rather commonplace. (

computery mathy graphy
: Opened those last Christmas prezzies... Both from my brother. A space calendar and... A computery mathy graphy technical calculator! (Daniel Hilton/@iPhonie See cheffy, hopey-changey, Bibley etc.)

demented: The whole thing is like TV’s Big Brother projected into the future by a demented Classics student. (The FT on Hunger Games March 2012)

earnest, naïve, second-rate: Oh! Public art! What happened? Our recent history is littered with small-ish bronze sculptures, quasi-abstract, sometimes almost figurative, with titles such as 'FULCRUM IX' or what have you, earnest and damned… There is heart in this naive modernist sculpture that we seem to have forgotten, where every estate, polytechnic, small office building, shopping arcade, etc would have some second-rate Moore or Calder or Hepworth approximation stationed outside, sentinels of abstraction… that British sense of choking banality. (Douglas Murphy/@entschwindet Nov 2011)

envenomated: means poisoned, but sounds more venomous

ESL prose
: Fifty Shades of Grey paying off with remedial readers who are prepared to plough through its English-As-A-Second-Language prose… (Christopher Fowler April 2012)
excruciatingly fey (Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, Dec 2011 on musical Pippin)

ferrovitreous: the Palm House

flamboyantly bad (Wendy Ide on W.E., film about Wallis Simpson, Times Jan 2012)

flashy, garish: oligarchitecture

galloping narcissism: ascribed to Hollywood stars in Frank Langella’s envenomated memoirs

glib: what other people’s arguments and pronouncements often are

gratifyingly vulgar: “Call me shallow, but I buy Hello! for photos of the well-heeled on holiday and details of their gratifyingly vulgar weddings.” Faiza Sultan Khan, Tehelka May 2012

grim, po-faced contemporary dance groups, who did things like depict the Jarrow Crusade through the medium of movement (Steerforth on dance in the 70s - see free jazz and Arts Council funded jugglers)

grimly stupid: grimly stupid responses to objections to the Olympic site. (Matthew Sweet Feb 2012)

grudgeful: drowning beneath a tide of grudgeful caveats (Martin Samuel, Mail Feb 2012)

heroically grumpy: the efforts of the Prayer Book Society (Diarmuid McCulloch LRB May 2012)

insipid, posing vacuity (@Furmadamadam/Adam Nathaniel Furman on architectural theory)

insufferably earnest (Wendy Ide Times April 12)

laughable, frantic: A laughable hotel across the water, with a frantic roof in the style of Santiago Calatrava, shows how not to do it. (Guardian on BBC’s new studios in Cardiff, March 2012)

loftily asinine: Is the new Bryan Appleyard book as loftily asinine as I suspect, or is it worth a look? (@rupertg/Rupert Goodwins)

manipulative, fraudulent, glib, overrated, schlocky, twee, whimsical etc: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, manipulative and fraudulent at every level, has its nominations in place and is on the road to the Academy Awards. And that is exactly what was meant to happen. Rarely have I seen a movie as maniacally fine-tuned to drive the voters of the Academy… into orgasms of approbation and applause. It may not carry home the statuettes, but no one can say they didn't try everything. Daldry – already bedazzled unto blindness by glib, overrated books like Michael Cunningham's The Hours and Bernhard Schlink's schlocky bestseller The Reader – was a shoo-in to be suckered by Jonathan Safran Foer's novel. It's one of those twee, child-centric works that sift through the last shakings of the postmodernist bag for ways to enliven their inch-deep whimsy and fathomless solipsism – crapulous, cod-Vonnegut cutesiness being Foer's weakness – and often presume an intimacy with grave and terrible events, the better to drape themselves in the mantle of importance. Thus we are given an annoyingly prodigious and self-satisfied nine-year-old boy with a 30-year-old's mind … who goes on a New York-wide treasure hunt to solve a riddle left to him by his father, who died on 9/11. For me, Daldry plus Safran Foer equals a perfect storm of all that is worth despising in modern "quality" cinema and the tripe issuing from the mills of the hollowed-out American creative-writing establishment which holds Foer so close to its corrupted bosom. (John Patterson, Guardian Feb 17 2012)

monstrously self-involved, breathtaking narcissist
(book review in Sunday Times)

outré: Stanley Tucci and Toby Jones as two TV commentators in outré wigs (The Week on Hunger Games, March 2012)

over-styled: the Boris bus (Guardian April 28 2012)

overidealist: Seattle free food forest (Urban Photo Blog)

pathologically melismatic: Lucy Mangan on talent contest entrants (Guardian April 1 2012) bloody-hell-pick-a-note-love fiddly parts (Grace Dent Guardian April 1 2012 on Jessie J doing the same kind of thing)

relentlessly sensible: the relentlessly sensible Quaker outlook feels wholly admirable but a little over-idealised if you are not part of that tradition. (Amazon review of 50s teen fiction The Lark on the Wing)

self-indulgent: Anyone see Lars Von Triers "Antichrist"? So bad. Art House movies should be labelled as such! (Warning! Self-Indulgent Bollocks) (Alan McGowan  @amcgowan1970)

self-promotey: Man, some of these corporate accounts I follow are a bit self-promotey. (@RopesToInfinity/Jonathan Headington)

shouty: power ballads

showy: showily overwritten (Sam Leith, Spectator Jan 2012)

slick fantasy effects: of children’s movies (imdb commenter)

smugly jolly: This has long been one of 21st century London's most depressing, smugly jolly spaces. (Owen Hatherley)

solemn: the solemn orchestral propriety of 50s pop (Telegraph on Bert Weedon April 2012)

sophomoric, high-gloss, high-concept crap like 24, CSI or Murder One. (imdb commenter)

stately: And the days when every family had a single television, often a stately object made of polished wood, possibly with doors like a French escritoire, have long gone and we scatter TVs around our houses like cushions. (Simon Hoggart March 31 2012)

stultifyingly earnest (Wendy Ide on The Lady, Jan 2012)

stupid, petty: How is it that an organisation as full of clever people who believe that they must love one another can manage to behave with the monumental stupidity and pettiness of the Church of England? (Andrew Brown, Guardian October 27, 2011 re Occupy protests and resulting resignations)

technicolour: cupcakes

terminally twee: A Japanese “cat tailor” who designs fancy-dress costumes to be worn by the long-suffering pets of the terminally twee, and who says her ideas are beamed to her from outer space. (Times 2009)

timid and shoddy Victoriana (Irish Times review of Owen Hatherley New Ruins of Great Britain)

tiresome, arduous, dogged: She goes on to profile a whole bunch of rather tiresome, worthy types who live with their children in dumps and arduously rebuild them with a sort of Little House on the Prairie doggedness. (Guardian on Angela Neustatter’s book June 2012)

tragic: the tragic cubbyhole of a hotel, near Paddington Station, to which le Carré rightly consigned Smiley (New Yorker on John Le Carré, 3 Dec 2011)

Adjectives 5

More adjectives here and here and here and here.

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