Thursday 11 March 2010



Advice on writing usually tells you to eliminate adjectives – yes, if the only adjectives you know are major, key and wonderful. You can say a lot with an adjective. You can nail a whole phenomenon. A lot of good ones are pejorative and also slangy – maybe because the polite people who make the rules about polite language are also making a good thing out of being vacuous, smug, stuck-up and slippery, or selling philosophies that are smarmy and chicken-soupy.

abrabracabrantesque antiseptic bitchy bonkers cloudy ghostly ghostlily grating mean medicinal misty myth-making over-bright overdone over-cooked over-blown over-explained over-friendly over-hyped over-inflated over-interpreted over-civilized over-stated needy nerdy neuralgic parochial pious peevish pointy posturing precious preening self-anointed self-applauding self-appointed self-centred self-congratulatory self-created self-deceiving self-defeating self-deluding self-dramatizing self-engrossed rubbishy salty sham shoddy silly sissy slow smug snarky snobbish sorry stealthy stuck-up sugary testy trashy touchy upscale wafty wet wimpy

More adjectives here and here and here and here.

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