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  1. #1
    alpacinoutd is offline Key Member
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    using three adjectives

    Does it work to use three adjectives before a noun like this?

    He was bleeding. He knew he would die in a dirty, dingy, damp apartment.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: using three adjectives

    Yes, that works. I like the alliteration of "die/dirty/dingy/damp". You could make it even more alliterative by changing "apartment" to "dump".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: using three adjectives

    Perhaps:

    He was bleeding badly. His life's blood was flowing out of him. He knew he was going to die in a dirty, dingy, damp dump.
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  4. #4
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: using three adjectives

    it's good you're enjoying writing! For some reason, I'd put damp at the front of the string.

    Some general comments:

    Alliteration works best in verse. A little bit can be great in prose, but it gets heavy-handed quickly. Verse usually uses luminous language to make words stand out. Prose usually uses transparent language to make words disappear.

    The same goes for adjectives. Verse loves them for their own sake. Prose tolerates them if they serve a purpose.

    By the way, when you look at Elmore Leonard and Raymond Carver, pay attention to how they do and don't use adjectives and alliteration.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. #5
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: using three adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    it's good you're enjoying writing! For some reason, I'd put damp at the front of the string.

    Some general comments:

    Alliteration works best in verse. A little bit can be great in prose, but it gets heavy-handed quickly. Verse usually uses luminous language to make words stand out. Prose usually uses transparent language to make words disappear.

    The same goes for adjectives. Verse loves them for their own sake. Prose tolerates them if they serve a purpose.
    Plus using alliteration in prose can have a comical effect. (Especially if you overdo it.)

    I need to remember that line "Verse uses luminous language to make words stand out. Prose usually uses transparent language to make words disappear." (I'm not sure what it means, but I like it. )
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  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: using three adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Plus using alliteration in prose can have a comical effect. (Especially if you overdo it.)

    I need to remember that line "Verse uses luminous language to make words stand out. Prose usually uses transparent language to make words disappear." (I'm not sure what it means, but I like it. )
    When you figure it out, you can explain it to the rest of us.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: using three adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post

    The same goes for adjectives. [...] Prose tolerates them if they serve a purpose.
    And the same goes for adverbs when overused.

  8. #8
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: using three adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    And the same goes for adverbs when overused.
    And especially when overly overused.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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