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    #1

    Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    Could only find this thread on -esque, and it's now closed
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...ue-suffix.html

    Are there rules about using suffixes -esque and -ian as in Rooseveltesque and Rooseveltian to describe things as having a quality of FD Roosevelt? And what about the suffix -ite; next week sees the funeral of former UK prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and her legacies are described as "Thatcherite", so would Rooseveltite be acceptable?

    There will be new examples every day - is it Chavaesque or Chavaian or Chavaite, and presumably it comes down to what feels right - "Chavaian" and "Chavaite" feel less natural. On the other hand more than one might be acceptable, it seems.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaggers View Post
    On the other hand more than one might be acceptable, it seems.
    Probably.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    A Thatcherite politician might well not be Thatcheresque.

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    #4

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    I think that the answer to this whole class of questions depends mainly on euphony, and to a small extent on humour: e.g. the delightful Liverpuddlian.

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    #5

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    Hi 5jj,

    How do you mean? Is -ite more philosophical and -esque more physical, for example?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaggers View Post
    How do you mean? Is -ite more philosophical and -esque more physical, for example?
    In the case of Thatcher, the -ite word suggests to me politics and the -esque word suggests mental characteristics. I think it's difficult to make any firm generalisations. As probus suggested, euphony plays a part; possibly humour does too.

    The safe thing for learners is not to attempt to create such words; not many native speakers do.

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    #7

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    A Thatcherite politician would agree with and support her aims. A Thatcheresque politician would display similar characteristics but could have very different political ideas.

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    #8

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    I'd endorse 5jj's advice. Don't innovate. There are many such suffixes, all with different connotations, and there are many existing oddities. For example, if you invent "Chavian" you'll risk confusion with the existing 'Shavian' - which refers to George Bernard Shaw.

    b

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    #9

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    Possibly, but one must read this Russel Brand article if one brings up Thatcherites.

    Russell Brand on Margaret Thatcher: 'I always felt sorry for her children' | Comment is free | The Guardian

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    #10

    Re: Rooseveltian or Rooseveltesque or Rooseveltite

    Thanks for responses but I'm not sure the "don't innovate" is particularly sound advice. English is a big language, but having the ability to turn a person's qualities into a recognisable adjective enriches the language - we could refer to a comment as sarcastic, biting, pitiless, provocative but wouldn't Cowellesque provide a richer description in certain circumstances.

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