• Abby

Superlatives

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

We are strangely lacking in middling terms – words to describe with some precision the middle ground between hard and soft, near and far, big and little… we have a large number of negative words – inept, dishevelled, incorrigible, ruthless, unkempt – for which the positive form is missing. English would be richer if we could say admiringly of a tidy person ‘she’s so shevelled’ or praise a capable person for being full of ept or an energetic one for having heaps of ert.

Bill Bryson, Mother Tongue

#english #language #linguistics #translation #billbryson

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