Friday, 5 September 2008

Oh adjective, my adjective

You know what tickles my fancy? This: when the vastly underappreciated etymological relationship between nouns is revisited in their adjectivisation. You forget that "parable" and "parabola" suckled at the same teat (or adjacent teats), until you come across "parabolic". Likewise "genus" and "genre" with "generic". Speaking of parables, one of my all time favourite noun-to-adjective thingies is "fable" to "fabulous". Truly, all other pleasures pale.


TimT said...

Indeed - who would have known that the words 'splendid' and 'splendiforous' find a common adjective in the little-used 'splendiferying'?

I must admit I do stumble a bit at the adjective 'phantasmagoric' (an allegorical treatment of phantasms?) but what really bakes my noodle is the term 'supercallafragalisticexpialadocious'. Now is that an adjective, a noun, a verb, or a hitherto unidentified species of the English language that has yet to be properly classified?

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

These are excellent questions, Timotheos, to which I lack excellent answers. But speaking of unidentified species: special! Why do people run after dancing girls and scoff butternuts when they could simply ruminate upon the ineffable loveliness of the fact that "species" adjectivises into "special"?

Maria said...

What tickled my fancy was being able to challenge a word of the Scrabble board when a confederate accidentally modified a word and spelled "teet".

He forgot how "teat" was spelled.