Adjective Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 62 quotes )
I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.
I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other words? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take 'good,' for instance. If you have a word like 'good,' what need is there for a word like 'bad'? 'Ungood' will do just as well--better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of 'good,' what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like 'excellent' and 'splendid' and all the rest of them? 'Plusgood' covers the meaning, or 'doubleplusgood' if you want something stronger still...In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words--in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston?
The sixth grade seemed to please him from the beginning: he went through a brief Egyptian Period that baffled me - he tried to walk flat a great deal, sticking one arm in front of him and one in back of him, putting one foot behind the other. He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn't see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't? Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 7
If the Britannica has taught me anything, it's to be more careful. I don't want to turn into an unseemly noun or verb or adjective someday. I don't want to be like Charles Boycott, the landlord in Ireland who refused to lower rents during a famine, leading to the original boycott. I don't want to be like Charles Lynch, who headed an irregular court that hung loyalists during the Revolutionary War. I can't have "Jacobs" be a verb that means staying home all the time or washing your hands too frequently.
Rather, very, little, pretty -- these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words. The constant use of the adjective little (except to indicate size) is particularly debilitating; we should all try to do a little better, we should all be very watchful of this rule, for it is a rather important one, and we are pretty sure to violate it now and then.
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.
I often think that he's the only one of us who's achieved immortality. I don't mean in the sense of fame and I don't mean he won't die someday. But he's living it. I think he is what the conception really means. You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with everyday that passes. . . They change, they deny, they contradict- and they call it growth. At the end there is nothing left, nothing unreveresed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been an entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out of an unformed mass. How do they expect a permanence which they never held for a single moment? But Howard- one can imagine him living forever.
You think—I dare say that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it We’re destroying words—scores of them hundreds of them every day. It’s a beautiful thing the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms there are also the antonyms.
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.
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.
To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.
No born Londoner (it is different with people of Scotch or Irish origin) now says 'bloody,' unless he is a man of some education. The word has, in fact, moved up in the social scale and ceased to be a swear word for the purposes of the working classes. The current London adjective, now tacked on to every noun, is -----. No doubt in time -----, like 'bloody,' will find its way into the drawing room and replaced by some other word.
Especially among Christians in positions of wealth and power, the idea of reading the Gospels and keeping Jesus' commandments as stated therein has been replaced by a curious process of logic. According to this process, people first declare themselves to be followers of Christ, and then they assume that whatever they say or do merits the adjective "Christian".
Words are like that, they deceive, they pile up, it seems they do not know where to go, and, suddenly, because of two or three or four that suddenly come out, simple in themselves, a personal pronoun, an adverb, an adjective, we have the excitement of seeing them coming irresistibly to the surface through the skin and the eyes and upsetting the composure of our feelings, sometimes the nerves that can not bear it any longer, they put up with a great deal, they put up with everything, it was as if they were wearing armor, we might say.
Coleridge’s description of Iago’s actions as "motiveless malignancy" applies in some degree to all the Shakespearian villains. The adjective motiveless means, firstly, that the tangible gains, if any, are clearly not the principal motive, and, secondly, that the motive is not the desire for personal revenge upon another for a personal injury. Iago himself proffers two reasons for wishing to injure Othello and Cassio. He tells Roderigo that, in appointing Cassio to be his lieutenant, Othello has treated him unjustly, in which conversation he talks like the conventional Elizabethan malcontent. In his soliloquies with himself, he refers to his suspicion that both Othello and Cassio have made him a cuckold, and here he talks like the conventional jealous husband who desires revenge. But there are, I believe, insuperable objections to taking these reasons, as some critics have done, at their face value.