or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Adject Misery

I said I was gonna do "gut" today but I got a couple adjectives to whine about. Tomorrow, probably.


The front page of today's local paper has this news story with the following headline:

Mayor race heats up

and I am not pleased.

I know I go on about how versatile English is, how we use one word for various parts of speech without batting an eyelash, but that is not a good headline. "Mayor" is a noun, an adjective is called for before the noun "race", and we have a perfectly good adjectival form of "mayor"; it's "mayoral". What's wrong with using that, headline writers? It's hardly any longer than "mayor", and it's correct.


Two reviews of another new movie I'll never see, this one called Forgetting Sarah Marshall with, again, the involvement of the very busy Judd Apatow.

Here's a sentence from the Slate review:

Segel's character, Peter Bretter, is the most emotionally naked Apatovian hero yet.

And here's one from the Salon review:

But "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is less Apatow than it is Apatowistic.

Proper nouns ending in "-w" take the adjectival ending "-vian", as I have noted before. Making up your own adjective as a lark: not always a good idea, particularly when it's clumsy and ugly.


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