Thursday, November 18, 2010

Word Girl! But not like on PBS; or, Pick a side.

I think there's a PBS show called Word Girl, isn't there? It's something like that in any case.


In looking at the lists of favorite words you've left so far (keep them coming!), I came to a realization.

I have to blame KEY mostly, but Lost in Translation helped, too.

It has to do with "serendipitous" and "pugnacious."

My lovely friends gave the adjectival forms as their favorites, but I prefer the nouns "serendipity" and "pugnacity."

I guess I could also have called this post "Are you a Shuss or a Tee?" ("shuss" being "-cious" and "tee" being "-ity" if you didn't catch that). Team Adjective vs. Team Noun. I find it interesting that some people lean more to the adjectives when I guess I like nouns more, even though it's all basically the same word but for the suffix (if my prose lacks clarity or beauty here, today was another non-nap-day).

And I wonder why that is. Is it another weird property of word attraction that some people just like the way certain forms sound or feel more? Or does it have more to do with usage?

Because Shuss is really, when you get down to it, a prettier sound than Tee is. And yet, for all my love of good sounds, I think the auditory connection is trumped by my old creative writing teacher's mantra.

No, not "Show, don't tell," although she did like that one, too.

"Use strong nouns and verbs."

The point being that if your verbs and nouns are strong, you don't need to qualify them with adjectives or adverbs, which tend to gum things up. Also, that means that when you DO whip out an adjective or adverb, it makes a stronger impact; it hasn't been diluted by superfluous words. (There are exceptions, though. For example, I like "superfluity" better but it just makes the sentence more awkward. Which brings us to another mantra, "Use good judgment." Although come to think of it, that one was my mother's mantra, not my teacher's. Huh.)

So keep your adjectives; give me a noun!

I am Elliespen, and I am a Tee.

Goooooo, Team Noun!

Also, just incidentally, gooooo Day 18! So, are you a Shuss or a Tee? Let's forget Teams Edward and Jacob (or whatever other Teams may be out there) and pay attention to much more interesting teams. I want Team Noun and Team Adjective to battle it out in the comments section. Woohoooooo!


Janci said...

You used my favorite word! Superfluous!

~Shauna~ said...

I gotta say I'm on Team Adjective! I love describing things. Can't get enough of those adjectives ;)

Katie E. said...

I am Team . . . ShussTee.

My analysis to justify my annoying vacillations:

1. As you pointed out, "Shuss" sounds better than "Tee," but "Tee" is stronger and more important. So when listing, I prefer "shuss," but when writing I prefer the power of The Noun to come through loud and clear.

2. If you'll note I listed 6 Adjectives and 5 nouns as favorite words, which demonstrates that I'm nigh unto evenly split. . . . "Modernity" is also one of my favorite words. There! 6 and 6.

Therefore, I'm Team ShussTee.

WV "gurock" Definition? POS?