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By: Mubarak Abdessalami

Shall we call him the emperor of language? Mr.
Adjective could at the same time be:

• The manager of a large company.
• The maestro of a big orchestra.
• The leader of a gang.
• The whiz of an organization.
• The supervisor of all language transactions
• The Chameleon of the language jungle.
• The chief of an armed squad.
• Etc ...

To speak or write correctly no one in the
language empire is willing to help but
Adjectives certainly are. They are the only
monopole that can push things forward and urge
events to happen in the way it pleases the
writer or the speaker. They have to do with all
the "good" and "bad” things that are to be done
or described. They also have the ability as to
make ugly things beautiful. Mr. Adjective
however is the mastermind behind a lot of
"funny" almost visual effects that happen in
language. All sentences invite adjectives
whenever they decide to hold a "party" because
the adjective and his "orchestra" are surely
making it "lovely ", "exciting" and
"sensational ". The dull sentence "ceremony" is
the one void of "adjectives and band". He also
is a magician. When the adjective begins
performing his operations on sentences, it is a
lot of changes and surprises that are expected
to turn out. With a single stroke from his
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"suffixes", Mr. Adjective can make an employed
person "jobless"; and with his magic stick, he
can turn an intelligent person "brainless".
Suffixes are not the only tools that the
adjective uses to convert nouns and verbs into
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effectively. Happy people can quickly become
"unhappy"; helpful ones become "unhelpful" and
so on. In a word this adjective's gang is
countless and it is making a lot of ravages in
the body of language.

Mr. Adjective has a large trained gang.
Most of the members of the gang are close
relatives to him. Comparatives and superlatives
are his left and right-hand men. Adverbs are
good and trustful executives in his large
company. They are always ready to operate for
him; If you don't like to do a good job, you
can do it well thanks to the Adverb Section
Service". Mr. Adjective uses camouflage in some
of his operations. "The fast car runs fast": In
this example he works as both an adjective and
an adverb. The Chameleon-like adjective is
greatly amazing. He sometimes permits to nouns
to achieve their projects on some sorts of
derivations through him. Take for instance the
ambitious verb "to clean" who wants to become a
noun. He has first to pass through the
adjective to be "clean", e.g.: "a clean room".
After that the adjective gives him the "visa"
to go to the land of adverbs to have a new
nationality and becomes "cleanly" to eventually
reach his goal and get the new identity
"cleanliness" so as to be accepted as a noun.

The famous Mr. Adjective is also there to
serve you to point to something you want to
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show somebody else. You cannot demonstrate
something unless the demonstrative adjectives
are present. These hardworking elements of
language are startling. They can make the
difference between one and many targeted things.
Your target, be it one or numerous, near or far
away, the adjective is always ready to serve
you. He makes at your disposition four of his
best soldiers, notably: [This, That, These and
Those]:

"Look at that man with those funny
spectacles who wants to buy these books on this
desk."

On the other hand, every user of language
knows well that each adjective belongs to one
of the six fractions of the gang. One of them
is the "distributive" fraction that specifies
among a group who share the same taste or
quality, "Every student wants either tea or
coffee. Some of them like neither."

Moreover, adjectives of "quantity" also can
make selections in the field of choice. They
also can count well,
"Some people have got many books; some others
have only a few. But most people have no books
at all."

Books are countable. What about uncountable
items? It is not here that the adjective could
be defective,

"There is much water in the bottle. But
there isn't any in the glass". Thus, on all
levels, the adjective is omnipresent. No other
grammar element is as active as the adjective.
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If one thinks that it is possible to avoid
using an adjective, one may not be quite
righteous. Even in questions, Interrogative
adjectives are there, present, and ready to
help. [Which, whose, what] are only samples of
the various trained elements the famous
powerful adjective could put under your service
to assist you asking correct questions.

The troops of the adjective army are the
most useful. They can give each of us his share.
This is my part whereas that one is her part.
So you have to look for your part because
everybody has got his part. The others prefer
not to take their parts so it is our part now.
Each one of these possessive adjectives plays
its role quite perfectly.

To conclude, Sentences void of adjectives
are not normal ones except for some trivial
ones. However, a sentence with all the
adjectives is not normal either. Let's try to
make a sentence in which all the members of the
adjective gang are present. It will surely be a
hilarious feast.

"Whose is that nice cat taking some rest on my
car? Every one should guess".

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The adjectives are seen by grammarians as
complementary parts of speech that just foster
an utterance meaning, decorate it or give it a
supplementary rhyme. But adjectives are so
important that some questions depend completely
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on them to display meaningful language as only
adjectives can answer it.

We have previously talked about the marvels
with which the adjective decorates language. In
this paper we will make our way towards
detecting the magic side of this part of speech.
Some languages like Chinese are void of
adjectives; what a pity!

The intellectual magic of the adjective is
so funny that we will see it in terms of two
far from each other funny theories. The first
explanation will take Philosophy as a medium
whereas the second approach will borrow
technology to explain the marvellous power of
the adjective.

Philosophy

The adjective of quality exists in some
questions by force. Once the question is
answered the adjective shows up and it exists
by action. To illustrate let's use philosophy
and compare the adjective existence to fire in
a match. Philosophically speaking fire exists
in a match in two ways, first when the match is
virgin; the fire exists by force, which means
that it needs some force (scratching) to show
up. When scratch the match, fire immediately
comes up. When the match is lit, obviously fire
exists in the match by action. The questions in
question are the host of the adjective passive
or active. I admit it is hard to follow, yet
with some practical examples things will get
clearer. Before we can give examples let's
check the other way of comparison, I mean the
technological way.

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Trojan Adjective

We can compare the adjective to a virus in
a software program. Like the Trojan horse virus
the adjective is there until it is activated
once the program file is open. So the virus
dwells in the program passively but once you
venture to use it the virus manifests
immediately and becomes active. The activation
of the virus depends greatly on your decision
about what to do with the software.

Illustrations:

Do you know that some questions couldn't be
answered but only by adjectives of quality? And,
as you know, the adjectives of quality are
largely meant to describe. Description however
goes into categories. In this illustration,
we'll deal only with two namely "appearance"
and "personality" or "character". Suppose you
want someone to describe someone else, your
question should tell him or her if you wanted
that person to describe the physical features
or the qualities and virtues. The host
questions are respectively:

1. What does someone or something look
like?
2. What is someone or something like?

The question number one once answered a
range of special "appearance" descriptive
adjectives are activated: tall, short, fat,
obese, slim, thin, beautiful, handsome, pretty,
good-looking, overweight, strong, weak, ugly
and so on.

The question number two on the other hand
triggers personality imaging: hardworking, nice,
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nasty, nervous, shy, kind, helpful, smart,
moody, intelligent, mad, crazy and so on.

Do you have any idea about how many
adjectives are hidden inside the following
question?

What's the weather like?

There are as many as forty without
exaggeration. This is the most known question
which represents an ideal lodge that provides
the perfect nest for the adjective's
hibernation. Once answered a flow of proper and
figurative, broad and explicit adjectives burst
out successively. And imagine people from all
over the world answered your question; here is
what you'd likely get:

Weather Adjectives

* arid
* bad
* bitter
* blusterous
* balmy
* calm
* cold
* cloudy
* crummy
* clear
* close
* damp
* dead
* dark
* drizzly
* dry
* foggy
* freezing
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* frosty
* good
* hot
* humid
* hazy
* icy
* mild
* misty
* muggy
* rainy
* raw
* revolting
* sunny
* stormy
* snow
* steamy
* showery
* scorching
* sultry
* tempestuous
* warm
* wet
* windy

CONCLUSION

Finally from philosophy to technology, the
invisible adjective has always been good at
keeping a comfortable web for its subsistence.
It imposes itself whenever you want to describe
or image someone or something. Your adjective
repertoire should be rich otherwise you'll
always come short in your answers.

Mubarak Abdessalami © Abdessalami On_Line

All about adjectives: http://www.angelfire.com/ab6/sdi_bari/adj.html#top