Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Looking For Adjectives

Parts of Speech Bears

I had cataract surgery yesterday. I learned nearly a year ago that it was time to remove the cataracts that had been sitting idle for some time but had finally advanced to the point of needing to be removed. Because I'd worn hard contacts for 50 years (yes, 50!) I had to go back to glasses for five months, then another complication with necessary eyelid surgery. It was one obstacle after another. Finally, the time had come. Yesterday's surgery went well and the result is---well, let me say that there are not enough adjectives to describe the result.

I am thrilled with the clarity, sharpness and brilliance of colors. It seems as if I'd been viewing the world through a curtain before and now it has been magically drawn aside to let me see the world as it really is. If it's this good with one eye done, what will it be like next week when the second eye is taken care of?

What are some of the adjectives I'd use to describe the changes? How about 

brilliant
clear
sharp
illuminating
gorgeous
delightful
amazing
thrilling
wonderful
marvelous

Which brings me to today's topic--adjectives. They are words that enrich or enhance a noun. They describe the noun more specifically, and they add to your prose. Adjectives help the writer offer a visual to the reader. If I write the house, you have no idea what it looks like. If I write the ancient house, a picture immediately comes to mind. The enormous house brings yet another picture, doesn't it? 

Try to find a list of adjectives for each of the following nouns:
1.  circus
2.  car
3.  woman
4.  train
5.  storm

A word of caution. One adjective is helpful, two or three preceding a noun is overdone. It's a common mistake beginning writers make. Using too many adjectives doesn't enhance your writing. One makes it stronger. 

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