Adjectives To Describe Quotes

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Isobel's head popped up. "What does 'sagacious' mean?" "Sagacious," he said, writing, "adjective describing someone in possession of acute mental faculties. Also describing one who might, in a bookstore, think to get up and locate an actual dictionary instead of asking a billion questions.
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
Actually, there is no such thing as a homosexual person, any more than there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. The words are adjectives describing sexual acts, not people. The sexual acts are entirely normal; if they were not, no one would perform them.
Gore Vidal (Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings)
I hope it is not necessary for me to stress the platonic nature of our relationship- not platonic in the purest sense, there was no philosophical discourse, but we certainly didn't fuck, which is usually what people mean by platonic; which I bet would really piss Plato off, that for all his thinking and chatting his name has become an adjective for describing sexless trysts.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
In writing. Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was "terrible," describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, "Please will you do my job for me." [Letter to Joan Lancaster, 26 June 1956]
C.S. Lewis (Letters to Children)
I take it that “gentleman” is a term that only describes a person in his relation to others; but when we speak of him as “a man” , we consider him not merely with regard to his fellow men, but in relation to himself, - to life – to time – to eternity. A cast-away lonely as Robinson Crusoe- a prisoner immured in a dungeon for life – nay, even a saint in Patmos, has his endurance, his strength, his faith, best described by being spoken of as “a man”. I am rather weary of this word “ gentlemanly” which seems to me to be often inappropriately used, and often too with such exaggerated distortion of meaning, while the full simplicity of the noun “man”, and the adjective “manly” are unacknowledged.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
He was beautiful. I know, it’s not the manliest way to describe a guy, but in my head, it was the adjective I used most often and it fit him to a tee.
S.C. Stephens (Thoughtless (Thoughtless, #1))
So sweet and innocent and just... beautiful. I know it's not a typical word to describe a guy, but there is something about the smooth texture of his skin, long blond eyelashes, and the chiseled cheekbones that brings the adjective to mind.
Tera Lynn Childs (Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls, #1))
Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
I have people calling me cute. Like I’m a fucking puppy!” she sneered at me, pushing me aside in order to continue on her way. “I am Melody Giovanni Callahan, cute is not the adjective used to describe me!
J.J. McAvoy (The Untouchables (Ruthless People, #2))
Easy' is an adjective used to describe a woman who has the sexual morals of a man.
Nancy Linn-Desmond
Evil is an adjective. It is an adjective used to describe those actions of man (and their effects) that are contrary to the nature of God.
N.D. Wilson (Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World)
There are so many moments in our life which we cannot describe with mere words. There are not enough adjectives to justify the emotions behind such moments. Those moments are your life- they define who you truly are
Viraj Mahajan (Derivation of Life)
Hemalurgy, it is called, because of the connection to blood. It is not a coincidence, I believe, that death is always involved in the transfer of powers via Hemalurgy. Marsh once described it as a "messy" process. Not the adjective I would have chosen. It's not disturbing enough.
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
In the language of the day it is customary to describe a certain sort of book as “escapist” literature. As I understand it, the adjective implies, a little condescendingly, that the life therein depicted cannot be identified with the real life which the critic knows so well in W.C.1: and may even have the disastrous effect on the reader of taking him happily for a few hours out of his own real life in N.W.8. Why this should be a matter for regret I do not know; nor why realism in a novel is so much admired when realism in a picture is condemned as mere photography; nor, I might add, why drink and fornication should seem to bring the realist closer to real life than, say, golf and gardening.
A.A. Milne
There’s nothing “grown-up” about wanting the State to punish people without evidence of guilt so that you can feel safe. It’s actually a deeply childish need at the heart of all authoritarianism - the desire for a big daddy figure to keep you safe from the Bad People even it means there are no legal constraints, due process, or transparency. Children growing up learn that their Daddy is omnipotent and omniscient and exercises his unchecked power for benevolent ends - it’s a nice, safe feeling, and many continue to cling to it in adulthood, hoping the Security State will provide that. Many adjectives can and should be used to describe that need - “grown-up” definitely is not among them.
Glenn Greenwald
Adolescent girls discover that it is impossible to be both feminine and adult. Psychologist I. K. Broverman’s now classic study documents this impossibility. Male and female participants in the study checked off adjectives describing the characteristics of healthy men, healthy women and healthy adults. The results showed that while people describe healthy men and healthy adults as having the same qualities, they describe healthy women as having quite different qualities than healthy adults. For example, healthy women were described as passive, dependent and illogical, while healthy adults were active, independent and logical. In fact, it was impossible to score as both a healthy adult and a healthy woman.
Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia)
I want to wrap my hands around his neck and prove to him just how un-adorable I can be when provoked. Scrappy is an adjective that comes to mind when people try to describe me. I’m quick in a fight. I can sneak under arms and karate chop you in the kidneys—at least I can in my head.
R.S. Grey (Not So Nice Guy)
Now Lu wonders if her father worried that moving up through the political ranks would cost him that adjective, beloved. Certainly, almost no politician is described that way anymore. Even the people who vote for you didn’t seem to like you that much.
Laura Lippman (Wilde Lake)
You regard yourself as tolerant, and in that one adjective you most fittingly describe yourself. You really don’t like people you tolerate them. You are very tolerant, MR. BUT.
Saul D. Alinsky (Reveille for Radicals)
Finished' is not an adjective that describes a book that has been read to the point you think you cannot read it anymore. Books never run out.
Ella
Lonely is one of the adjectives people like Shane Claiborne use, alongside unsustainable, to describe the culture of adulthood they grew up watching.
Krista Tippett (Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living)
Later, several people in that room would reach for the same adjectives to describe me: sad, desperate, trying to preempt pushback at every turn. It was, one said, like I was defending a dissertation.
Ronan Farrow (Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators)
There really are people in the world who have ready a list of adjectives about a fat person—including lazy , stupid , messy , incompetent —that they are certain describes her before she ever opens her mouth.
Jen Larsen (Future Perfect)
Jesus did not die for our righteousness, but He died for our sins. He did not come to save us because we were worth saving, but because we were utterly worthless, ruined, and undone. He did not come to earth out of any reason that was in us, but solely and only because of reasons which He took from the depths of His own divine love. In due time He died for those whom He describes not as godly but as ungodly, applying to them as hopeless an adjective as He could have selected.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (All of Grace)
We generally describe the most repulsive examples of humanity's cruelty as brutal or bestial, implying by these adjectives that such behaviour is characteristic of less highly developed animals such as ourselves. In truth, however, the extremes of 'brutal' behaviour are confined to humanity; and there is no parallel in nature to our savage treatment of each other.
Storr
The pieces didn't really coordinate and could be described in no other way than 'eclectic', but once labeled 'eclectic', valuable mismatches generally become fantastically stylish. Very similar to the way adding cash value to 'crazy' results in a whimsical 'eccentric'; you have to buy more flattering adjectives.
Mandy Ashcraft (Small Orange Fruit)
There are no specific memories of the first time I used ketamine, which was around age 17 or 18. The strongest recollection of ketamine use regarded an instance when I was concurrently smoking marijuana and inhaling nitrous oxide. I was in an easy chair and the popular high school band Sublime was playing on the CD player. I was with a friend. We were snorting lines of ketamine and then smoking marijuana from a pipe and blowing the marijuana smoke into a nitrous-filled balloon and inhaling and exhaling the nitrous-filled balloon until there was no more nitrous oxide in the balloon to achieve acute sensations of pleasure, [adjective describing state in which one is unable to comprehend anything], disorientation, etc. The first time I attempted this process my vision behaved as a compact disc sound when it skips - a single frame of vision replacing itself repeatedly for over 60 seconds, I think. Everything was vibrating. Obviously I couldn't move. My friend was later vomiting in the bathroom a lot and I remember being particularly fascinated by the sound of it; it was like he was screaming at the same time as vomiting, which I found funny, and he was making, to a certain degree, demon-like noises. My time 'with' ketamine lasted three months at the most, but despite my attempts I never achieved a 'k-hole.' At a party, once, I saw a girl sitting in bushes and asked her what she was doing and she said "I'm in a 'k-hole.'" While I have since stopped doing ketamine because of availability and lack of interest, I would do ketamine again because I would like to be in a 'k-hole.
Brandon Scott Gorrell
Guantánamo Bay's motto: 'Safe, humane, legal, transparent detention.' Four adjectives describing one sick joke.
Rodney Ulyate
It had been wonderful and magical and all the adjectives that people use to describe “making love.
Laurelin Paige (First Touch (First and Last #1))
By the way, leafing through my dictionary I am struck by the poverty of language when it comes to naming or describing badness. Evil, wickedness, mischief, these words imply an agency, the conscious or at least active doing of wrong. They do not signify the bad in its inert, neutral, self-sustaining state. Then there are the adjectives: dreadful, heinous, execrable, vile, and so on. They are not so much as descriptive as judgmental. They carry a weight of censure mingled with fear. Is this not a queer state of affairs? It makes me wonder. I ask myself if perhaps the thing itself - badness - does not exist at all, if these strangely vague and imprecise words are only a kind of ruse, a kind of elaborate cover for the fact that nothing is there. Or perhaps words are an attempt to make it be there? Or, again, perhaps there is something, but the words invented it. Such considerations make me feel dizzy, as if a hole had opened briefly in the world.
John Banville (The Book of Evidence (The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy, #1))
I give in,” she gasped. “What has turned your evening into such a dreadful affair?” “What or whom?” “‘ Whom’?” she echoed, tilting her head as she looked at him. “This grows even more interesting.” “I can think of any number of adjectives to describe all of the ‘whoms’ I have had the pleasure of meeting this evening, but ‘interesting’ is not one of them.” “Now, now,” she chided, “don’t be rude. I did see you chatting with my brothers, after all.” He nodded gallantly, tightening his hand slightly at her waist as they swung around in a graceful arc. “My apologies. The Bridgertons are, of course, excluded from my insults.” “We are all relieved, I’m sure.” Simon cracked a smile at her deadpan wit. “I live to make Bridgertons happy.” “Now that is a statement that may come back to haunt you,” she chided. “But in all seriousness, what has you in such a dither? If your evening has gone that far downhill since our interlude with Nigel, you’re in sad straits, indeed.” “How shall I put this,” he mused, “so that I do not completely offend you?” “Oh, go right ahead,” she said blithely. “I promise not to be offended.” Simon grinned wickedly. “A statement that may come back to haunt you.” She blushed slightly. The color was barely noticeable in the shadowy candlelight, but Simon had been watching her closely. She didn’t say anything, however, so he added, “Very well, if you must know, I have been introduced to every single unmarried lady in the ballroom.” A strange snorting sound came from the vicinity of her mouth. Simon had the sneaking suspicion that she was laughing at him. “I have also,” he continued, “been introduced to all of their mothers.” She gurgled. She actually gurgled. “Bad show,” he scolded. “Laughing at your dance partner.” “I’m sorry,” she said, her lips tight from trying not to smile. “No, you’re not.” “All right,” she admitted, “I’m not. But only because I have had to suffer the same torture for two years. It’s difficult to summon too much pity for a mere evening’s worth.
Julia Quinn (The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1))
Person, Place, Thing (Noun); Describes Action (Verb); Modifies Nouns (Adjective); Answers the W Questions (Adverb); Joins Words Together (Conjunction); Things We Say When We Are Happy, Surprised, or Pissed Off (Interjection).
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Many earnest young writers with a flow of adjectives and a passion for detail have attempted to describe the quiet of a great city at night, when a few million people within it are sleeping, or ought to be. They work in the clang of a distant owl car, and the roar of an occasional "L" train, and the hollow echo of the footsteps of the late passer-by. They go elaborately into description, and are strong on the brooding hush, but the thing has never been done satisfactorily.
Edna Ferber (Buttered Side Down: Stories)
To write, to be able to write, what does it mean? It means spending long hours dreaming before a white page, scribbling unconsciously, letting your pen play round a blot of ink and nibble at a half-formed word, scratching it, making it bristle with darts and adorning it with antennae and paws until it loses all resemblance to a legible word and turns into a fantastic insect or a fluttering creature half butterfly, half fairy. To write is to sit and stare, hypnotized, at the reflection of the window in the silver ink-stand, to feel the divine fever mounting to one's cheeks and forehead while the hand that writes grows blissfully numb upon the paper. It also means idle hours curled up in the hollow of the divan, and then the orgy of inspiration from which one emerges stupefied and aching all over, but already recompensed and ladened with treasures that one unloads slowly on to the virgin page in the little round pool of light under the lamp. To write is to pour one's innermost self passionately upon the tempting paper, at such frantic speed that sometimes one's hand struggles and rebels, overdriven by the impatient god who guides it — and to find, next day, in place of the golden bough that bloomed miraculously in that dazzling hour, a withered bramble and a stunted flower. To write is the joy and torment of the idle. Oh to write! From time to time I feel a need, sharp as thirst in summer, to note and to describe. And then I take up my pen again and attempt the perilous and elusive task of seizing and pinning down, under its flexible double-pointed jib, the many-hued, fugitive, thrilling adjective.… The attack does not last long; it is but the itching of an old scar.
Colette (The Vagabond)
Curran could be described in many ways: dangerous, powerful . . . insufferable. “Elegant” usually wasn’t one of the adjectives used, and as he walked next to me, I wished I had a camera so I could commemorate the moment. And then blackmail him with it.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6))
He was incredibly and unbearably beautiful. There was no other way for her to adequately describe it to herself. It was beyond being just handsome. Handsome was a common masculine adjective, limited in its scope. This man was honestly beautiful. His facial features were so very elegant, taking the term noble to the extreme. Dark brows winged up over dark eyes, both of indeterminate color in the shadows of the night. So dramatic, but then so belied by the ridiculous childlike length of lush lashes. His magnificent eyes were lit with a soft, smoldering light of amusement as his sensual mouth was lifting up at the corner in a smile she could only call sinful. “How did you . . . but that’s . . . you couldn’t possibly!” she spluttered, her hands opening and closing reflexively on his lapels. “I did. It is not. And apparently, I could.” He was smiling broadly now, and Isabella was certain she was the cause of some unseen bit of amusement. She glowered at him, completely forgetting he’d just saved her neck. Literally. “I’m so glad you find this so entertaining!” Jacob couldn’t help his growing smile. She was so focused on him that she hadn’t realized they were still a good ten feet off the ground and floating at the exact spot where he’d met her precipitous fall. That was for the best, he thought, sinking down to the pavement while she was distracted by the taunt of his amusement. He was going to have enough trouble as it was explaining how he’d managed to catch a woman hurtling to her death from five stories up.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
Together and separately, we as speakers disproved another description used to disqualify feminists: that we were all “whitemiddleclass,” a phrase used by the media then (and academics who believe those media clippings now) as if it were a single adjective to describe the women’s movement. In fact, the first-ever nationwide poll of women’s opinions on issues of gender equality showed that African American women were twice as likely as white women to support them.8 If the poll had included Latinas, Asian Americans, Native Americans,
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
shibui (Japanese) Beauty of aging. [adjective] Shibui (shin-BOO-ee), like wabi, sabi, and aware, connotes a certain kind of beauty. Like sabi, and unlike aware, shibui refers to a kind of beauty that only time can reveal. One of the reasons language has such immense emotional power is the way people use symbols to link together several sensory sym-bols to make an emotionally evocative image. Shibui can be used to describe the taste of a certain kind of tea, scenery of a gray, brown, or moss-green color, or the impression a person gets from looking at the face of a certain kind of older person.
Howard Rheingold (They Have a Word for It: A Lighthearted Lexicon of Untranslatable Words & Phrases)
My friend N. D. Wilson was teaching once, and he asked the class to name some adjectives that describe Christian art. We said words like “mediocre,” “cheesy,” “shallow,” “trite,” “saccharine,” and “derivative.” He wrote them on the board, and the class nodded smugly. Then he reminded us that he didn’t specify modern American Christian art. What if we answered that question with people in mind like J. S. Bach, Tolkien, Rembrandt, Carravagio, and George Herbert? The adjectives change, don’t they? And for that matter, I would argue that even modern American art by Christians is far from cheesy and trite—if you’re looking in the right place.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
i can’t compact their existence into twenty-six letters and call it a description i tried once but the adjectives needed to describe them don’t even exist so instead i ended up with pages and pages full of words followed by commas and more words and more commas only to realize there are some things in the world so infinite they could never use a full stop
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
Soon the key word to describe it is the adjective ‘mass’. Thus there is mass culture and mass hysteria, mass tastes (or rather lack of taste) and mass paranoia, mass enslavement, and finally mass murder. The only hero on the world stage is the crowd, and the main feature of this crowd, this mass, is anonymity, impersonality, lack of identity, lack of a face.
Ryszard Kapuściński (The Other)
THE METAPHYSICAL POETS Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime (Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress) While theatre was the most public literary form of the period, poetry tended to be more personal, more private. Indeed, it was often published for only a limited circle of readers. This was true of Shakespeare's sonnets, as we have seen, and even more so for the Metaphysical poets, whose works were published mostly after their deaths. John Donne and George Herbert are the most significant of these poets. The term 'Metaphysical' was used to describe their work by the eighteenth-century critic, Samuel Johnson. He intended the adjective to be pejorative. He attacked the poets' lack of feeling, their learning, and the surprising range of images and comparisons they used. Donne and Herbert were certainly very innovative poets, but the term 'Metaphysical' is only a label, which is now used to describe the modern impact of their writing. After three centuries of neglect and disdain, the Metaphysical poets have come to be very highly regarded and have been influential in recent British poetry and criticism. They used contemporary scientific discoveries and theories, the topical debates on humanism, faith, and eternity, colloquial speech-based rhythms, and innovative verse forms, to examine the relationship between the individual, his God, and the universe. Their 'conceits', metaphors and images, paradoxes and intellectual complexity make the poems a constant challenge to the reader.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Neither my homeland nor America could ever be described as charming. It was too moderate of an adjective for a country and a people as hot and hot-blooded as mine. We repulsed or seduced, but we never charmed. As for America, just think of Coca-Cola. That elixir is really something, embodying as it does the addictive, teeth-decaying sweetness of a capitalism that was no good for you no matter how it fizzled on the tongue.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Committed (The Sympathizer, #2))
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Normal is never the adjective used to describe you! Exceptional. Notorious. Unstoppable. That is what you should aim for. You’re in pain? Your body aches? Guess what? That’s your life. You think those idiots outside helped you because they cared? Because you’re so precious? They stepped in to make you weak, to drag you down to their limitations, their weaknesses. A helping hand is a selfish one. If you can’t save yourself, you have no right to be saved.
J.J. McAvoy (American Savages (Ruthless People, #3))
The adjective “Faustian” describes the insatiable striving for the unattainable, the impossible, for all knowledge and all power, for the infinite and perfect. The Faustian human will bow to no tyrant God. He will worship no God. He will never be a slave, servant or serf. He will have no lord and no master. Religious people regard Faust as having “sold his soul to the Devil”. In fact, Faust liberated his soul from the Devil (the Abrahamic God) so that he himself could become a God.
Joe Dixon (The Intelligence Wars: Logos Versus Mythos)
f-word. It substituted for adjectives, nouns, and verbs. It was used, for example, to describe the cooks: “those f——ers,” or “f——ing cooks”; what they did: “f——ed it up again”; and what they produced. David Kenyon Webster, a Harvard English major, confessed that he found it difficult to adjust to the “vile, monotonous, and unimaginative language.” The language made these boys turning into men feel tough and, more important, insiders, members of a group. Even Webster got used to it, although never to like it.
Stephen E. Ambrose (Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest)
Runach took the book in hand and went to look for that Bruadarian lass, who was likely having a conversation with the flora and fauna of his grandfather's garden... He just hadn't expected her to be singing. It wasn't loud singing, though he could hear it once he'd wandered the garden long enough to catch sight of her, standing beneath a flowering linden tree, holding a blossom in her hand. Runach came to a skidding halt and gaped at her. Very well, so he had ceased to think of her as plain directly after Gobhann, and he had been struggling to come up with a worthy adjective ever since. He supposed he might spend the rest of his life trying, and never manage it. It was difficult to describe a dream. He had to sit down on the first bench he found, because he couldn't stand any longer. He wondered if the day would come where she ceased to surprise him with the things she did. Her song was nothing he had ever heard before, but for some reason it seemed familiar in a way he couldn't divine. It was enough for the moment to simply sit there and watch as she and the tree--and several of the flowers, it had to be said--engaged in an ethereal bit of music making. It was truthfully the most beautiful thing he had ever heard, and that was saying something, because the musicians who graced his grandfather's hall were unequalled in any Elvish hall he'd ever visited. And then Runach realized why what she was doing sounded so familiar. She was singing in Fadaire. He grasped for the rapidly disappearing shreds of anything resembling coherent thought, but it was useless. All he could do was sit on that very cold bench and listen to a woman who had hardly set foot past her place of incarceration, sing a song in his mother's native tongue, that would have brought any elf in the vicinity to tears if they had heard it. He knew because it was nigh onto bringing him to that place in spite of his sorry, jaded self.
Lynn Kurland (River of Dreams (Nine Kingdoms, #8))
There’s a big default notion that “spare,” or “precise” prose is somehow better. I keep insisting to them that while such prose is completely legitimate, it’s in no way intrinsically more accurate, more relevant, or better than lush prose. That adjective “precise,” for example, needs unpicking. If a “minimalist” writer describes a table, and a metaphor-ridden adjective-heavy weird fictioneer describes a table, they are very different, but the former is in absolutely no way closer to the material reality than the latter. Both of them are radically different from that reality. They’re just words. A table is a big wooden thing with my tea on it.
China Miéville
By the latter part of 1861 the War Department had taken over from the states the responsibility for feeding, clothing, and arming Union soldiers. But this process was marred by inefficiency, profiteering, and corruption. To fill contracts for hundreds of thousands of uniforms, textile manufacturers compressed the fibers of recycled woolen goods into a material called “shoddy.” This noun soon became an adjective to describe uniforms that ripped after a few weeks of wear, shoes that fell apart, blankets that disintegrated, and poor workmanship in general on items necessary to equip an army of half a million men and to create its support services within a few short months.
James M. McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era)
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.” She held her breath. “I know things have been hard lately,” Ronan continued, “and that you don’t deserve it. You’ve had to be so strong, so proud, so cunning. But all of this unpleasantness will go away the instant we announce our engagement. You can be yourself again.” But she was strong. Proud. Cunning. Who did he think she was, if not the person who mercilessly beat him at every Bite and Sting game, who gave him Irex’s death-price and told him exactly what to do with it? Yet Kestrel bit back her words. She leaned into the curve of his arm. It was easy to dance with him. It would be easy to say yes. “Your father will be happy. My wedding gift to you will be the finest piano the capital can offer.” Kestrel glanced into his eyes. “Or keep yours,” he said hastily. “I know you’re attached to it.” “It’s just…you are very kind.” He gave a short, nervous laugh. “Kindness has little to do with it.” The dance slowed. It would end soon. “So?” Ronan had stopped, even though the music continued and dancers swirled around them. “What…well, what do you think?” Kestrel didn’t know what to think. Ronan was offering everything she could want. Why, then, did his words sadden her? Why did she feel like something had been lost? Carefully, she said, “The reasons you’ve given aren’t reasons to marry.” “I love you. Is that reason enough?
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
A few days after the fireworks, I gave them a lesson on category nouns versus exact nouns. I hadn’t heard of this distinction prior to opening the textbook. It transpired that a category noun was something like “vegetables,” whereas exact nouns were “beetroot,” “carrots,” “broccoli.” It was better to use exact nouns because this made your writing more precise and interesting. The chapter gave a short explanation followed by an exercise: an A4 page divided into columns. On the left were various category nouns. On the right, you had to fill in at least three corresponding exact nouns. I told the kids they could use their Cantonese-to-English dictionaries. Cynthia Mak asked what to say for “people.” Did it mean “sister,” “brother,” “father,” or “teacher,” “doctor,” “artist,” or— “They’re all okay,” I said. “But if I put ‘sister,’ ‘father,’ ‘brother’ in ‘people,’ then what about here?” She pointed to the box marked “family.” “Okay, don’t do those. Do ‘teacher’ or something.” “But what about here?”—signaling the “professions” row. “Okay, something else for ‘people.’” “Happy people, sad people?” “‘Happy people’ isn’t an exact noun—it’s an adjective plus a category noun.” “So what should I write?” We looked at each other. It was indeed a challenge to describe people in a way not immediately related to how they earned money or their position in the family unit. I said: “How about ‘friend,’ ‘boyfriend,’ ‘colleague’?” “I don’t want to write ‘boyfriend.’” I couldn’t blame her for questioning the exercise. “Friend,” “enemy,” and “colleague” didn’t seem like ways of narrowing down “people” in the way “apple” did for “fruit.” An apple would still be a fruit if it didn’t have any others in its vicinity, but you couldn’t be someone’s nemesis without their hanging around to complete the definition. The same issue cropped up with my earlier suggestions. “Family” was relational, and “profession” was created and given meaning by external structures. Admittedly “adult,” “child,” and “teenager” could stand on their own. But I still found it depressing that the way we specified ourselves—the way we made ourselves precise and interesting—was by pinpointing our developmental stage and likely distance from mortality. Fruit didn’t have that problem.
Naoise Dolan (Exciting Times)
I’d better have a glass then. To complete my ensemble.” Kestrel didn’t quite forget her promise to Arin not to drink, but rather willed it away along with everything else about him. “Oh, yes,” said Jess. “You must. Don’t you think so, Ronan?” “I don’t think. I am thinking of nothing other than what Kestrel could be thinking, and whether she will dance with me. If I’m not mistaken, there is one final dance before this legendary wine is served.” Kestrel’s happiness faltered. “I’d love to, but…won’t your parents mind?” Ronan and Jess exchanged a glance. “They’re not here,” Ronan said. “They’ve left to spend the winter season in the capital.” Which meant that, were they here, they would object--as would any parents, given the scandal. Ronan read Kestrel’s face. “It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
One feature of our own society that seems decidedly anomalous is the matter of sexual advertisement, As we have seen, it is strongly to be expected on evolutionary grounds that, where the sexes differ, it should be the males that advertise and the females that are drab. Modern western man is undoubtedly exceptional in this respect. It is of course true that some men dress flamboyantly and some women dress drably but, on average, there can be no doubt that in our society the equivalent of the peacock's tail is exhibited by the female, not by the male. Women paint their faces and glue on false eyelashes. Apart from special cases, like actors, men do not. Women seem to be interested in their own personal appearance and are encouraged in this by their magazines and journals. Men's magazines are less preoccupied with male sexual attractiveness, and a man who is unusually interested in his own dress and appearance is apt to arouse suspicion, both among men and among women. When a woman is described in conversation, it is quite likely that her sexual attractiveness, or lack of it, will be prominently mentioned. This is true, whether the speaker is a man or a woman. When a man is described, the adjectives used are much more likely to have nothing to do with sex. Faced with these facts, a biologist would be forced to suspect that he was looking at a society in which females compete for males, rather than vice versa. In the case of birds of paradise, we decided that females are drab because they do not need to compete for males. Males are bright and ostentatious because females are in demand and can afford to be choosy. The reason female birds of paradise are in demand is that eggs are a more scarce resource than sperms. What has happened in modern western man? Has the male really become the sought-after sex, the one that is in demand, the sex that can afford to be choosy? If so, why?
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)
If I were to list all the positive attributes about Ryan Lilly, I’d run out of superior adjectives to use. I mean seriously, how big do you think my vocabulary is? I only know about a hundred million words, and with that small of a sample size, how could I accurately describe someone as great as Ryan? Ryan is the most amazing guy I’ve ever met. Seriously, I’m insanely jealous and I just want to stab him. But I won’t, because everybody loves Ryan, including me. Ryan is a big inspiration in my life. Not only is Ryan fiercely intelligent—on the level of Newton, da Vinci, and Nietzsche’s mustache—but he is the most open, honest, and understanding guy I’ve ever met. He’s the kind of guy who’d give you the shirt off his back if you asked. I know, because I’m wearing his shirt now. If you don’t know who Ryan Lilly is, you soon will. He’ll probably be one of the most talked about people in history, and just the other day I came across this quote from Pliny (I don’t know how old Pliny is, so I don’t know if it was Pliny the Older or Pliny the Younger) which said, “Everything good I have written about can be summed up in two words: Ryan Lilly.” That’s a real quote I read in a real book. Trust me, I’m a writer.
Jarod Kintz (My love can only occupy one person at a time)
It doesn’t matter what they think. Dance with me.” He took her hand, and for the first time in a long while, she felt safe. He pulled her to the center of the floor and into the motions of the dance. Ronan didn’t speak for a few moments, then touched a slim braid that curved in a tendril along Kestrel’s cheek. “This is pretty.” The memory of Arin’s hands in her hair made her stiffen. “Gorgeous?” Ronan tried again. “Transcendent? Kestrel, the right adjective hasn’t been invented to describe you.” She attempted a light tone. “What will ladies do, when this kind of exaggerated flirtation is no longer the fashion? We shall be spoiled.” “You know it’s not mere flirtation,” Ronan said. “You’ve always known.” And Kestrel had, it was true that she had, even if she hadn’t wanted to shake the knowledge out of her mind and look at it, truly see it. She felt a dull spark of dread. “Marry me, Kestrel.” She held her breath. “I know things have been hard lately,” Ronan continued, “and that you don’t deserve it. You’ve had to be so strong, so proud, so cunning. But all of this unpleasantness will go away the instant we announce our engagement. You can be yourself again.” But she was strong. Proud. Cunning. Who did he think she was, if not the person who mercilessly beat him at every Bite and Sting game, who gave him Irex’s death-price and told him exactly what to do with it? Yet Kestrel bit back her words. She leaned into the curve of his arm. It was easy to dance with him. It would be easy to say yes. “Your father will be happy. My wedding gift to you will be the finest piano the capital can offer.” Kestrel glanced into his eyes. “Or keep yours,” he said hastily. “I know you’re attached to it.” “It’s just…you are very kind.” He gave a short, nervous laugh. “Kindness has little to do with it.” The dance slowed. It would end soon. “So?” Ronan had stopped, even though the music continued and dancers swirled around them. “What…well, what do you think?” Kestrel didn’t know what to think. Ronan was offering everything she could want. Why, then, did his words sadden her? Why did she feel like something had been lost? Carefully, she said, “The reasons you’ve given aren’t reasons to marry.” “I love you. Is that reason enough?” Maybe. Maybe it would have been. But as the music drained from the air, Kestrel saw Arin on the fringes of the crowd. He watched her, his expression oddly desperate. As if he, too, were losing something, or it was already lost. She saw him and didn’t understand how she had ever missed his beauty. How it didn’t always strike her as it did now, like a blow. “No,” Kestrel whispered. “What?” Ronan’s voice cut into the quiet. “I’m sorry.” Ronan swiveled to find the target of Kestrel’s gaze. He swore. Kestrel walked away, pushing past slaves bearing trays laden with glasses of pale gold wine. The lights and people blurred in her stinging eyes. She walked through the doors, down a hall, out of the palace, and into the cold night, knowing without seeing or hearing or touching him that Arin was at her side.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Two weeks ago my mountain of mail delivered forth a pipsqueak mouse of a letter from a well-known publishing house that wanted to reprint my story “The Fog Horn” in a high school reader. In my story, I had described a lighthouse as hav­ing, late at night, an illumination coming from it that was a “God-Light.” Looking up at it from the view-point of any sea-creature one would have felt that one was in “the Presence.” The editors had deleted “God-Light” and “in the Presence.” Some five years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 (count ‘em) short stories in it. How do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book? Simplicity itself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito—out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron’s mouth twitch—gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer—lost! Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky read like—in the finale—Edgar Guest. Every word of more than three syllables had been ra­zored. Every image that demanded so much as one instant’s attention—shot dead. Do you begin to get the damned and incredible picture? How did I react to all of the above? By “firing” the whole lot. By sending rejection slips to each and every one. By ticketing the assembly of idiots to the far reaches of hell.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
He did not know that they were people, nor that he was a bear. Indeed, he did not know that he existed at all: everything that is represented by the words I and Me and Thou was absent from his mind. When Mrs. Maggs gave him a tin of golden syrup, as she did every Sunday morning, he did not recognize either a giver or a recipient. Goodness occurred and he tasted it. And that was all. Hence his loves might, if you wished, be all described as cupboard loves: food and warmth, hands that caressed, voices that reassured, were their objects. But if by a cupboard love you meant something cold or calculating you would be quite misunderstanding the real quality of the beast’s sensations. He was no more like a human egoist than he was like a human altruist. There was no prose in his life. The appetencies which a human mind might disdain as cupboard loves were for him quivering and ecstatic aspirations which absorbed his whole being, infinite yearnings, stabbed with the threat of tragedy and shot through with the color of Paradise. One of our race, if plunged back for a moment in the warm, trembling, iridescent pool of that pre-Adamite consciousness, would have emerged believing that he had grasped the absolute: for the states below reason and the states above it have, by their common contrast to the life we know, a certain superficial resemblance. Sometimes there returns to us from infancy the memory of a nameless delight or terror, unattached to any delightful or dreadful thing, a potent adjective floating in a nounless void, a pure quality. At such moments we have experience of the shallows of that pool. But fathoms deeper than any memory can take us, right down in the central warmth and dimness, the bear lived all its life.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3))
Adding kat after an adjective creates a compound word. The Wolof adjective hipi describes someone who is open-eyed and hyper-aware. A hipi-kat, therefore, is a person who is on the ball, or a “hepcat.
Debra Devi (The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu)
There are several things to listen for when talking with customers. Two important ones are: What specific words (adjectives & adverbs) they use. Let them find the words, and press them to explain more. So when a customer describes something as “big” don’t say: “Oh yeah it IS really big”. Instead, say “Big? What makes it big? Big compared to what? What else did you try that was big?” How often they use them. The more a customer uses a particular word or phrase to describe their struggle or what they want, the closer the association. Even better is when different customers, independently, use the same words. If different customers keep saying that they like to use an air freshener because it reminds them of “home”. Well. You’ve got some great copy ideas to start with. What makes found copy so much better than, say, copy you thought up during a brainstorming session? You are not your customer. You simply cannot describe your customer’s struggle as well as they can. Using the customer’s words to describe their problem back to them will make them feel understood and their brain will jump to: “Yup, that’s exactly what it’s like when I’m in that situation. This product must be close to what I want because they know, exactly, my struggle.” And that’s what we want when we write copy. We want our prospects to see themselves on the page. It may take more words, but those words are more likely to be read because they’re real for your prospect – they’re not just abstracted marketing talk.
Anonymous
In writing I try to pare down the descriptive bits. If I feel that I could say something in as few words as possible, then I would rather do it than to go on padding. One should describe sufficiently to give the reader a sense of what one feels, but not at the same time overwhelm the reader in any way. For example, I feel that if you use lots of adjectives they have a mutually cancelling effect. If you can describe a scene well enough, without having to use far too many words, I would rather do so.
Arthur Yap
I hope it is not necessary for me to stress the platonic nature of that relationship—not platonic in the purist sense, there was no philosophical discourse, but we certainly didn’t fuck, which is usually what people mean by platonic; which I bet would really piss Plato off, that for all his thinking and chatting his name has become an adjective for describing sexless trysts.
Anonymous
It’s one thing to be afraid of ISIS and their terrorist methods. But how do you deal with the terror of a family member you can’t trust? Or are you just plain paranoid? That’s the other side of the domestic thriller. Maybe the evil that resides inside your own home doesn’t exist at all. Perhaps it’s just a figment of your imagination. Perhaps the evil resides entirely within. One thing that’s for certain, domestic thrillers are always described with adjectives like, “gripping,” “riveting,” “page turner,” “disturbing,” and of course, “horrifying.” They also provide us with something that other varieties of thriller cannot. They make us question our own personal belief in right versus wring. In a word, we can relate on a personal level to domestic thrillers. And that’s what scares us the most.
Anonymous
Naïveté was in fact warmly embraced. It proved a useful alternative to describing an action or statement as ingenuous, an adjective which contemporary users were apt to confuse with ingenious.19
Henry Hitchings (The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English)
loud chanting and hooting is heard at the opera (along with the visual spectacle of audience attire such as jeans, message T-shirts, and sweats worn at such a formal art presentation); the exquisite and complex language of English is peppered with the word “like” every third or fourth word; the repetitive use of the adjective “cool” as a positive evaluation of everything remotely good reflects a paucity of vocabulary; and if the taste of strawberry ice cream is “awesome,” then what word is left to describe the aurora borealis? In
Alexandra York (LYING AS A WAY OF LIFE: Corruption and Collectivism Come of Age in America)
From seven hundred journalists at the beginning of March, the number had dwindled to about one hundred and fifty—print reporters, TV correspondents, photographers, cameramen, and support personnel. At the press center I encountered Kazem, who only a week before I had asked for help with my visa. “Why are you staying when everyone else is leaving?” he asked. I took a chance and replied in Arabic. Some journalists, I said, are as samid as the Iraqi people. Samid means “steadfast” and “brave” and is the adjective most often used by Iraqis to describe themselves. Kazem laughed and threw his arm around my shoulder.
Richard Engel (And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle East)
Afterword to “Where Hesperus Falls” Words, words, words are the enemy of a writer. I take great pleasure in simplifying language and sentences whenever I can. If I’ve started something, I write through to the end of the paragraph or section, then go back and prune out whole sentences. I’m pleased if I reach the end having deleted thirty sentences, making the thing tighter without losing any of the impact. Of course, I keep having to go back to make sure that I have the right words and no repetition. Norma catches a lot of this, and it’s a great deal of work. I liked it much better in the old days when I could still see and could assimilate a whole page at a time like other writers do. You mustn’t try too hard to produce effects either. They have to come kind of quietly, sneaking up on you out of the action and feeling. When you want to describe something that’s flamboyant, weird and strange, anything a little bit outrageous, wicked or nasty, you don’t do it by exposition, which can become long-winded and tiresome. You have one of your characters describe it to somebody else. Instead of writing that a man is an evil beast, without a redeeming quality, you have a girl come in out of the cold with her clothes torn and say: ‘I met this fellow, Steve, and he did such and such. That man is a beast. Do you know what he did to Henrietta? He pulled all her hair out.’ I’m exaggerating, but this is almost a trade secret: not having the exposition come from the writer, but rather from the mouths of the characters themselves. So cut those words out. Sometimes you can combine the adjective and the noun into a single notion. Instead of saying there was a horse colored all kinds of different colors, you say a palomino came down the road. —Jack Vance The Phantom Milkman I’ve had all I can stand.
Jack Vance (Hard-Luck Diggings: The Early Jack Vance)
Smart, focused, intentional—these are adjectives that describe me.
Willow Winters (I Have Lived and I Have Loved)
identify your employee adjectives, (2) recruit through proper advertising, (3) identify winning personalities, and (4) select your winners. Step One: Identify Your Employee Adjectives When you think of your favorite employees in the past, what comes to mind? A procedural element such as an organized workstation, neat paperwork, or promptness? No. What makes an employee memorable is her attitude and smile, the way she takes the time to make sure a customer is happy, the extra mile she goes to ensure orders are fulfilled and problems are solved. Her intrinsic qualities—her energy, sense of humor, eagerness, and contributions to the team—are the qualities you remember. Rather than relying on job descriptions that simply quantify various positions’ duties and correlating them with matching experience as a tool for identifying and hiring great employees, I use a more holistic approach. The first step in the process is selecting eight adjectives that best define the personality ideal for each job or role in your business. This is a critical step: it gives you new visions and goals for your own management objectives, new ways to measure employee success, and new ways to assess the performance of your own business. Create a “Job Candidate Profile” for every job position in your business. Each Job Candidate Profile should contain eight single- and multiple-word phrases of defining adjectives that clearly describe the perfect employee for each job position. Consider employee-to-customer personality traits, colleague-to-colleague traits, and employee-to-manager traits when making up the list. For example, an accounting manager might be described with adjectives such as “accurate,” “patient,” “detailed,” and “consistent.” A cocktail server for a nightclub or casual restaurant would likely be described with adjectives like “energetic,” “fun,” “music-loving,” “sports-loving,” “good-humored,” “sociable conversationalist,” “adventurous,” and so on. Obviously, the adjectives for front-of-house staff and back-of-house staff (normally unseen by guests) will be quite different. Below is one generic example of a Job Candidate Profile. Your lists should be tailored for your particular bar concept, audience, location, and style of business (high-end, casual, neighborhood, tourist, and so on). BARTENDER Energetic Extroverted/Conversational Very Likable (first impression) Hospitable, demonstrates a Great Service Attitude Sports Loving Cooperative, Team Player Quality Orientated Attentive, Good Listening Skills SAMPLE ADJECTIVES Amazing Ambitious Appealing Ardent Astounding Avid Awesome Buoyant Committed Courageous Creative Dazzling Dedicated Delightful Distinctive Diverse Dynamic Eager Energetic Engaging Entertaining Enthusiastic Entrepreneurial Exceptional Exciting Fervent Flexible Friendly Genuine High-Energy Imaginative Impressive Independent Ingenious Keen Lively Magnificent Motivating Outstanding Passionate Positive Proactive Remarkable Resourceful Responsive Spirited Supportive Upbeat Vibrant Warm Zealous Step Two: Recruit through Proper Advertising The next step is to develop print or online advertising copy that will attract the personalities you’ve just defined.
Jon Taffer (Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions)
Same way, blonde is a rather general category. You narrow it when you make the gal a brassy blonde, or a raucous blonde, or a hard-faced blonde, or a blowsy blonde. How about a brassy, raucous, hard-faced, blowsy blonde? Yes, you can run anything into the ground if you really try! So much for adjectives. Adverbs? They modify verbs . . . describe the manner in which an act is performed: angrily, wearily, animatedly, gloomily, delightedly, smilingly. It does get a little tiresome, doesn’t it? Remedy: Wherever practical, substitute action for the adverb. “Angrily, she turned on him”? Or, “Her face stiffened, and her hands clenched to small, white-knuckled fists”? “Wearily, he sat down”? Or, “With a heavy sigh, he slumped into the chair and let his head loll back, eyes closed”? Vividness outranks brevity. At least, sometimes. So much for adverbs. To live through your story, experience it, your reader must capture it with his own senses.
Dwight V. Swain (Techniques of the Selling Writer)
And when, prior to going into the Muslim world, I didn't have any -- Elijah Muhammad had taught us that the white man could not enter into Makkah in Arabia, and all of us who followed him, we believed it. And he said the reason he couldn't enter was because he's white and inherently evil, it's impossible to change him. And the only thing that would change him is Islam, and he can't accept Islam because by nature he's evil. And therefore by not being able to accept Islam and become a Muslim, he could never enter Makkah. This is how he taught us, you know. So when I got over there and went to Makkah and saw these people who were blond and blue-eyed and pale-skinned and all those things, I said, "Well!" But I watched them closely. And I noticed that though they were white, and they would call themselves white, there was a difference between them and the white one over here. And that basic difference was this: in Asia or the Arab world or in Africa, where the Muslims are, if you find one who says he's white, all he's doing is using an adjective to describe something that's incidental about him, one of his incidental characteristics; so there's nothing else to it, he's just white.
Malcolm X (February 1965: The Final Speeches)
And when, prior to going into the Muslim world, I didn't have any -- Elijah Muhammad had taught us that the white man could not enter into Makkah in Arabia, and all of us who followed him, we believed it. And he said the reason he couldn't enter was because he's white and inherently evil, it's impossible to change him. And the only thing that would change him is Islam, and he can't accept Islam because by nature he's evil. And therefore by not being able to accept Islam and become a Muslim, he could never enter Makkah. This is how he taught us, you know. So when I got over there and went to Makkah and saw these people who were blond and blue-eyed and pale-skinned and all those things, I said, "Well!" But I watched them closely. And I noticed that though they were white, and they would call themselves white, there was a difference between them and the white one over here. And that basic difference was this: in Asia or the Arab world or in Africa, where the Muslims are, if you find one who says he's white, all he's doing is using an adjective to describe something that's incidental about him, one of his incidental characteristics; so there's nothing else to it, he's just white. But when you get the white man over here in America and he says he's white, he means something else. You can listen to the sound of his voice -- when he says he's white, he means he's a boss.
Malcolm X (February 1965: The Final Speeches)
There is more rain than there are adjectives to possibly describe it.
Benjamin Myers (Under The Rock: The Poetry of a Place)
Conservatism is not inherently moralistic, negative, arrogant, condescending, and self-righteous. Nor is it authoritarian. Yet all of these are adjectives that best describe the political outlook of contemporary conservatism. I make these observations not as an outsider, but as a conservative who is deeply troubled by what has become of a treasured philosophy. Conservatism has been co-opted by authoritarians, a most dangerous type of political animal.
John W. Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience)
When you hear a Spanish cook describe a paella or a cake, you realize she’s using a much richer repertoire of adjectives than what one of us would use to characterize a book or an important experience.
Julio Cortázar (Final Exam (New Directions Paperbook Book 1109))
The problem with intensifying an image only by adjectives, as you can see from these examples, is that adjectives encourage cliché. It’s hard to think of adjective descriptors that haven’t been overused: bulging or ropy muscles; clean-cut good looks; frizzy hair. If you use an adjective to describe a physical attribute, make sure the phrase is not only accurate and sensory but fresh. In “Flowering Judas,” Katherine Anne Porter describes Braggioni’s singing voice as a “furry, mournful voice” that takes the high notes “in a prolonged painful squeal.” Often, the easiest way to avoid an adjective-based cliché is to free the phrase entirely from its adjective modifier. For example, rather than describing her eyes merely as “hazel,” Emily Dickinson remarked that they were “the color of the sherry the guests leave in the glasses.” Making
Rebecca McClanahan (Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively)
Sometime you don't need to put complement with your adjectives let your adjective describe everything
mohammad rishad sakhi
When deployed in rap vernacular, the word villain feels slightly anachronistic, particularly when prefaced by the adjective mother-fuckin’. It’s a little old-timey. But there simply wasn’t a word that better described N.W.A’s public aspirations with such accuracy. I suppose gangsta is the only other word that came close, a modifier so flexible it could even be used to describe how rappers operated their cars. If you lowered the seat and tilted your body toward the vehicle’s passenger side, the posture was referred to as the “gangsta lean.” Spawned in 1972 by forgotten R&B wunderkind William DeVaughn, “gangsta lean” is an amazingly evocative term, particularly to those who did not initially know what it meant. But once you unpacked the definition, it merely outlined a villainous way to drive your jalopy to White Castle, operating from the position that appearing villainous was an important way to appear at all possible times. This was very, very important to the members of N.W.A. It was the only thing they seemed to worry about. Everything they attempted had to possess criminal undertones. I can only assume they spent hours trying to deduce villainous ways to microwave popcorn (and if they’d succeeded, there would absolutely be a song about it, assumedly titled “Pop Goes the Corn Killa” or “45 Seconds to Bitch Snack”).
Chuck Klosterman (I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined))
Loving Angel was the greatest gift. Adventerous. Special. Thrilling. Astonishing. There were more adjectives than I could come up with to describe being in love.
J.L. Weil (Loving Angel (Divisa, #4))
When I am working with groups of thirty or fewer people, there is a powerful name exercise that I do to break the ice, start with humor, and begin my program with positive energy. One by one, each person will introduce themselves using an adjective that describes their personality that starts with the first letter of their name. “Spontaneous Susan,” “Dependable Dave,” and “Happy Helen” are a few quick examples. The benefit for the participants is twofold: it makes each person feel good and it makes people laugh. Additionally, it enables me to learn their names so that I can integrate them into the entire presentation for full engagement and participation.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Communication: 8 Ways to Confirm Clarity & Understanding for Positive Impact(The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #5))
What are the key elements for a fabulous, well-delivered compliment? You . . . • are sincere and genuine. • give it freely without expecting anything in return. Your compliment is a selfless gift, not a boomerang. • are specific and detailed. • elaborate on why you like something. • describe how their positive virtue has positively impacted you. • can use adjectives for more colorful descriptions. • keep it positive. • say it like you mean it with intentional impact. • use discretion and good judgment. • leave no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding. • say the right thing at the right moment and let it flow organically. Finding sincere ways to compliment others is a powerful way to make a great first and last impression.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Action: 8 Ways to Initiate & Activate Forward Momentum for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #4))
You Set The Pace Because of the woman she was, our friend in Proverbs 31 had a home that exuded a good atmosphere, making it a place people wanted to frequent. Every home has an atmosphere. Maybe you don’t know what the atmosphere of your home is, but there are some who do – the people who frequent it. How would you describe the atmosphere in your home? Pick an adjective: Warm, peaceful, loving, cheerful, united? How about anxious, bitter, contentious, or frustrated? It is the woman in each home who creates the atmosphere. She is like the hub of the wheel around which the home revolves. Have you ever noticed how quickly your husband and children pick up your moods? When you’re grumpy, your husband seems to come home grumpy, too, and your children pick up that mood the second they come in from school. Then you wonder what is the matter with them! Try it tonight. An experiment in terror. Be a real first-class Oscar the Grouch at dinnertime, and see how long it takes the others to follow suit. Better yet, be the woman God wants you to be, and see how fast they respond positively!
Linda Dillow (Creative Counterpart : Becoming the Woman, Wife, and Mother You Have Longed To Be)
Have you ever noticed how many adjectives you have to describe your intellect?” “Not nearly enough. The dictionary should have more words for expressing its vastness.
Ruby Lionsdrake (Hierax (Star Guardians, #4))
I am a proud father in the fulfillment I feel when I provide guidance to my son. We have tremendous sharing together, which I now share in words with you today, with only a humble choice of adjectives to truly describe the emotions I feel arising from my relationship with my son. I imagine each of us has relationships of which we can be proud.
Rob Kozak
...they had just used the word hidoi, a Japanese adjective most often used to describe civil wars, natural disasters, or serial killers, and applied it to my shoes. The dress shoes I wore weren’t high-end or anything, but I’d like to think that hidoi was an exaggeration.
Lea Jacobson (Bar Flower: My Decadently Destructive Days and Nights as a Tokyo Nightclub Hostess)
But my sleep was ragged that night, she wrote. But she didn’t know anything about ragged sleep when she wrote that. She knew the word ragged and she knew it was an adjective that could describe many things, including sleep, but she knew nothing about ragged sleep. Nowadays she is shocked by the fraudulence of words. Every word claims an authority and every word craves to be believed, and we read others’ words and we find something to relate to, solace in a shared experience. Yet there doesn’t have to be any experience behind a word. A word can be a shadow not cast by any object.
Samantha Harvey (The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping)
Another, much more famous, instance of morphologization has occurred in the Romance languages (the modern descendants of Latin). Latin had a noun mens ‘mind’, whose stem was ment- and whose ablative case-form was mente (the Latin ablative was a case-form with miscellaneous uses, most of which we would associate largely with prepositional use in English). Quite early, it became usual in Latin to use the ablative mente with an accompanying adjective to express the state of mind in which an action was performed; as was usual in Latin, the adjective had to agree with its noun mente as feminine singular ablative. We thus find phrases like devota mente ‘with a devout mind’ (i.e., ‘devoutly’) and clara mente ‘with a clear mind’ (i.e., ‘clear-headedly’). At this stage, however, the construction was possible only with adjectives denoting possible states of mind; other adjectives, like those meaning ‘new’ or ‘equal’ or ‘obvious’, could not appear with mente, because the result would have made no sense: something like ‘with an equal mind’ could hardly mean anything. But then speakers began to reinterpret the mente construction as describing not the state of mind of somebody doing something, but the manner in which it was done. Consequently, the construction was extended to a much larger range of adjectives, and new instances appeared, like lenta mente (lenta ‘slow’) and dulce mente (dulce ‘soft’), with the adjectives still in the appropriate grammatical form for agreement with the noun. As a result, the form mente was no longer regarded as a form of mens ‘mind’; it was taken instead as a purely grammatical marker expressing an adverbial function, and it was therefore reduced from a separate word to a suffix. Today this new suffix is the ordinary way of obtaining adverbs of manner in the Romance languages, entirely parallel to English -ly in slowly or carefully, and it can be added to almost any suitable adjective. Thus Spanish, for example, has igualmente ‘equally’ (igual ‘equal’) and absolutamente ‘absolutely’ (absoluta ‘absolute’). Spanish still retains a trace of the ancient pattern: when two such adverbs are conjoined, only the last takes the suffix, and hence Spaniards say lenta y seguramente ‘slowly and surely’, and not *lentamente y seguramente. In French, this is not possible, and a French-speaker must say lentement et sûrement.
Robert McColl Millar (Trask's Historical Linguistics)
Not sure how I feel about being described as respectable by the hottest guy on campus, for a number of reasons. 1. It’s not sexy. 2. That’s not how I would describe myself if I had to choose adjectives. 3. It’s not sexy.
Sara Ney (How to Lose at Love (Campus Legends, #1))
She had toured his ducal estate before they rented it out. She had not called it ridiculous; in fact, she had not used any adjectives at all to describe it. Her feelings had been summed up in one word, spoken after they’d left the premises: “No.
Courtney Milan (The Duke Who Didn't (Wedgeford Trials, #1))
It is fatty, salty, briny, buttery, bright, sweet, smoky, sour and just about every adjective you could use to describe something delicious.
Ben Nadler
Brahma is an adjective as it describes a noun or pronoun. E.g. Brahmchit (Ecstatic).
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (Smiling Brahma)
I hold her stare for a moment, realizing that blue-green doesn’t suffice as an adjective to describe her eyes. The blue is more of a turquoise, the kind you’d find in the brightest, cleanest part of the ocean. The green rims the outside, and it’s dark as if you’re looking through a forest of redwood trees.
Liz Tomforde (Mile High (Windy City, #1))
Homer used two adjectives to describe aspects of the colour blue: kuaneos, to denote a dark shade of blue merging into black; and glaukos, to describe a sort of ‘blue-grey’, notably used in Athena’s epithet glaukopis, her ‘grey-gleaming eyes’. He describes the sky as big, starry, or of iron or bronze (because of its solid fixity). The tints of a rough sea range from ‘whitish’ (polios) and ‘blue-grey’ (glaukos) to deep blue and almost black (kuaneos, melas). The sea in its calm expanse is said to be ‘pansy-like’ (ioeides), ‘wine-like’ (oinops), or purple (porphureos). But whether sea or sky, it is never just ‘blue’. In fact, within the entirety of ancient Greek literature you cannot find a single pure blue sea or sky.
Maria Michela Sassi
Swedes, Germans and Britons, when tested in a similar manner, do the same, selecting positive adjectives to describe their own culture.
Richard D. Lewis (When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures)
In person Kaltenborn was lanky, with a clipped moustache and thin hair. He was described as “confident but not conceited,” “pompous,” “unpretentious,” and by many other contradictory adjectives. His capabilities were vast. He was the only newscaster in radio who could strap on a pair of shortwave earphones, listen without translation to speeches by Hitler, Mussolini, or Daladier, go on the air immediately with only his cryptic notes as a script, and deliver a polished analysis. He was a rapid-fire commentator but spoke in simple sentences packed with one-syllable words and was easy to understand. He could read a one-line news bulletin and immediately give a quarter-hour explanation of its significance and probable consequences. He died in 1965.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
We can find better adjectives than cool, and not glorify someone's temperature setting. There is a wise tenderness that will find the empathetic, not through expectation or demand. The lameness and weakness no longer feared, and the feminine hygiene products (douche) not used to describe a man's character or likeness. A douche is used before a surgery, a device born of dire necessity. The word neurotic has it's net, and perhaps soon all these disturbing word-nets will be retired, and the hurt and disturbance will be forgotten through bliss and peace. All language and all pain stops, no words there to cause pain. Sweet forgetfulness.
Cory Duchesne
And the rejection of white working-class voters as desirable partners betrays an ugly elitism that is at odds with what Democrats are supposed to stand for. The disdain was made explicit in 2016 when Hillary Clinton described half of Trump supporters as “deplorables.”84 Although Clinton was certainly right to denounce racist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes as deplorable, her comments were troubling on several levels. She changed what is normally an adjective into a noun, suggesting that white working-class people with less education than her were completely defined by their attitudes on race. Clinton used the line while speaking to audiences whom she described as “successful people” at fundraisers in the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard, where her audiences knowingly chuckled at America’s benighted white working class.85 And it did not go unnoticed, one journalist remarked, that deplorables is not a term Clinton ever applied to highly educated Wall Street bankers who brought about the Great Recession and threw millions of people out of work.86 In
Richard D. Kahlenberg (Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See)
When someone is diagnosed with depression, you won’t hear them say, “I am depression.” This is equally unlikely with a patient diagnosed with anorexia or bipolar disorder or even schizophrenia. A rare few psychiatric conditions enjoy the pleasure of being both an adjective describing one’s mood or classification of behaviors and a noun—a label—to encompass all of who one is. Alcoholics. Addicts. And borderlines. Unfortunately for me, I identify with all of these conditions.
John G. Gunderson (Beyond Borderline: True Stories of Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder)
I KEEP READING books and seeing movies where nobody can fucking say anything except fuck, unless they say shit. I mean they don’t seem to have any adjective to describe fucking except fucking even when they’re fucking fucking. And shit is what they say when they’re fucked. When shit happens, they say shit, or oh shit, or oh shit we’re fucked. The imagination involved is staggering. I mean, literally.
Ursula K. Le Guin (No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters)
And, switching from the personal to the corporate, “large,” “larger,” and preferably “the largest” have become the most desirable adjectives to describe trajectories to success. Some providers of limited-edition luxury items aside, no company has become a global leader by drastically capping its output and aspiring to remain modest in size.35 And there is nothing new about this trend toward larger sizes: the evolution of living organisms has supplied many precedents. What’s new is the ubiquity and the pace of the modern quest for larger sizes. This accelerated trend began during the latter half of the 19th century, powered by industrialization, and its intensification through the 20th century created our modern world of record-breaking sizes and superlatives.
Vaclav Smil (Size: How It Explains the World)