Monday 10 October 2022

Grandpa Greg's Advanced Grammar: OBJECTIONABLE ADJECTIVES

Forced (bulbs)
Estival and Hibernal

Authors' Note:  The author disavows overly blunt speech and writing, but finds the tendency to embellish disconcerting. Efficacious seems to be used disproportionately when effective or efficient would do nicely. Other words with inflated frequency of usage include symptomatologymethodology and, yes, even usage

Authors' Note:  Pretentiousness may be at work when the word fulsome is (ab)used by a writer or speaker who feels that full is not sufficiently impressive.

Authors' Note: In English there are fortunately many nouns that we can use as adjectives when the situation demands. In the opinion of this author, summer (adj.) and winter (adj.) are less cumbersome descriptors than estival and hibernal, despite the opinion of some lexicographers. 

                                                                                            withdrawn from OEDILF, June 2023

Authors' Note: Around the globe, hundreds of thousands of doctors have learned the microscopic appearance and function of tissues early in medical school through the study of histology. (The corresponding adjectival forms are histologic or histological.)

The role of histonomy, if any, as well as that of its adjectival derivatives, is considerably less certain.

Authors' Note: 
ovine: adjective pertaining to sheep
ovular: adjective pertaining to egg
A broad spectrum of adjectives, many abstruse and pedantic, are based on Latin roots. A few of these, like bovine and regular, have been fully adopted into modern speech patterns. Others, such as the pair ovine and ovular, are a source of confusion. A minority, including the relatively obscure floccular, do rhyme with each other, providing a benefit only to poets. Is floccular snow falling? The author finds that use flaky.

Authors' Note:  Horrible (like its close cousins terrible and frightful) has become a difficult term to define. Originally meaning full of horror, or capable of engendering horror, it can now be applied in two opposing directions.
This poem happens to fit fairly well with the scansion for a well-known song. So if you go back to the version on "Daily Illustrated Nonsense" (click HERE), you can see our suggestions for singing the lyrics.

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