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Monday, September 7, 2020

The Power of Adjectives

Mrs. Trotter, my fourth-grade teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, once wrote a sentence on the blackboard--"The family sat down to dinner"--and asked us to imagine the scene. Then she added a word--"The Hawaiian family sat down to dinner"--and asked us to picture the scene again. Everything changed: the room the people were in, what they looked like, the clothes they wore, the food they ate….By adding one word, Hawaiian, she transformed the whole sentence. I've never forgotten that lesson in what an adjective is and what it can do.

Patricia T. O'Conner, Words Fail Me, 1999

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