[Vocabulary] RE: Positive Adjectives to describe Negativity

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RE: Positive Adjectives to describe Negativity

Hi folks,

I have noticed, both in literature and especially on the (T.V.) news, that the use of a positive adjective to describe a factor (for want of a better word) which has negative connotations is very commonplace.

For example:

"The hurricane was so fantastic that it ripped through the villages and destroyed many lives."

"Over a thousand tenants were burned alive by the skyscraper's fire of which emergency services described as the most sensational blaze they had ever tried to tackle."​

For me, "sensational" and "fantastic" are not words of which I would use to describe an event (or similar) which was of a sad or distressing nature. Personally, I would use them in such a context as:

"The 2017 Cannes Film Festival was a sensational event; and the weather was simply fantastic for the entire weekend."​

Many thanks in advance for any kind assistance offered here.

Best,

Paul (UK)
 
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GoesStation

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Re: Positive Adjectives to describe Negativity

Neither adjective looks natural to me. Many adjectives can serve in positive and negative sentences, there is no firm boundary, and regional usage varies, so you may see uses that seem a bit out of place.
 
Joined
May 29, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Re: Positive Adjectives to describe Negativity

Neither adjective looks natural to me. Many adjectives can serve in positive and negative sentences, there is no firm boundary, and regional usage varies, so you may see uses that seem a bit out of place.

Hi G.S.,

Wow, that was quick!

The examples I provided were entirely my own. I am still a novice and so - admittedly - they may not read absolutely correct (compared to a direct quotation from an established writer). But in any event, you were able to follow my meaning, thanks.

Paul
 
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