The Adjective Is a Choice

Adjectives answer “Which?” — and writers sometimes do too much to assure their readers of a particular idea or person or thing that’s meant. For example, “They ate their morning breakfast,” forgets ‘breakfast’ already implies morning.

Though — what would it mean to embrace the writer’s ability to do too much — and conversely make the word-in-error not be extra? In other words, when could ‘morning breakfast’ be a choice?

  1. If in a short story, a character will attend an afternoon breakfast.
  2. If, say in a poem, contrast is being proposed between kinds of theoretical breakfasts.
  3. Perhaps in an essay if someone is making an argument, in which the term is defined for particular meaning versus, say, a suggested improvement.

What adjective-in-error could you turn into a choice? I’d love to see your examples in the comments.

Read more about the importance of the writing ecosystem here.