Adverbs and Order

Lately whenever I sit down to type, whether the study light is on or off, I get a headache. It’s so easy to just blame my ~delicate condition~ for just about everything, but I don’t think it’s just that. I haven’t had much uptime today or yesterday, but at least I managed to read today. A lot. I’ve still got a ways to go though, and I resent my brain being so OFF yesterday. Also very behind on my waterglass count.

While reading, I’ve noticed something. It’s impossible for me not to notice poor style/technical decisions, but they are much less obnoxious than outright errors. There are a lot of places where I’d word something rather differently. Not just because of style, which I think is a poor criticism (after all, I’m not the one who wrote it, which invalidates it as critique) but due to the issue of clarity.

One example of this is poor adverb placement. Yeah, yeah, people tell you not to use adverbs. They’re snooty and grating. But if you use an adverb, put it in the right place. Grammatically, it might be unclear where the adverb in a sentence should go, but if you put it somewhere awkward, most readers will snag on it. Too many snags, and your fatigued reader will shelf the book and get another. Readers are rather spoiled for choice, in case no one has noticed.

Same goes for adjective order. In English, it goes:

  1. Quantity/Number
  2. Quality/Opinion
  3. Size
  4. Age
  5. Shape
  6. Color
  7. Proper adjective (e.g. nationality or material)
  8. Purpose or qualifier

Or so I’ve been told. When there are a few of these and they are not in order, the sentence reads as quite, quite strange. No one would blink at “small white geese”. But “red old houses”? It makes my brain go twang, honestly.

This is helpful, but I dislike how opinion is split and quantity ignored. Still, it’s a resource. Now I have to go clean the kitchen instead of finishing my book.

(*・_・)ノ⌒* Boo.


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