Monday, February 13, 2006

Listing adjectives and adjectival phrases

Method one

With this first method I take some random words from directed-association results:

Example: officer, instructor, blame

and use the first three letters to trigger adjectives. Thus:

officer = official, off-side
instructor = instrumental, inside, insulting
blame = blameworthy, blatant, black

I can also use the letters to trigger verbs/actions and use them adjectivally:

instructor = insisting, insulting, inspecting

I can also make up new adjectives. So with a random word 'hair' I could create an adjective and a possible meaning:

Hairish = like hair

With a random word 'Constable' I could create:

Constable-ish = in the style of John Constable

Method two

With method two my aim is to go beyond the predictable: I name a specific thing or object before I consider possible adjectives (or phrases) that fit. I do this by using a template:

Name an X thing or object

and choosing a random word for the 'X'.


Name a crying thing = tears

From this I can name possible adjectives and adjectival phrases:

Wet, emotional, moving, from the eyes, onion-consequence.

I can also use the template:

Name an X X thing or object

to set more of a challenge and go beyond the obvious when naming a thing or object.

Setting a quota

With method two I can also set a quota for my adjectival phrase to go beyond the obvious choices.

So if I set a directive: "Name a parliament thing" and I choose "Debate" as an answer I can try to name adjectival phrases of several words:

Debate is: likely to be heated, among opposing sides, likely to make the news if it's deemed newsworthy.

See also: Listing adverbs and adverbial phrases

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