Posted by R. Berg on December 07, 2001

In Reply to: modifiers posted by The Critic on December 06, 2001

: : : : : : : : : : Just wrote a poem and some dude dished it for bein. full of modifiers - I can speak English, write English(just about) and understand English but what the heck is a modifier?

: : : : : : : : : This is really a question for R. Berg. But I'll take a crack at answering your question. A modifier is "a word or group of words that limits or qualifies the meaning of another word or group of words. In 'a very tight coat,' the adjective 'tight' is a modifier of 'coat' and the adverb 'very' is a modifier of tight.'" (World Book Dictionary) That sounds like words that describe other words to me. Anyway "Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay (and that's no lie): Practical Advice for the Grammatically Challenged" by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis has this to say about the use of modifiers: "Use Modifiers Sparingly -- The writer who chooses strong, active verbs and vivid, colorful nouns has less need for adverbs and adjectives. Carefully chosen and sparingly used, adjectives and adverbs can serve a writer well. But they should be considered guilty until proven innocent -- guilty of making writing fat and sluggish."

: : : : : : : : : Don't get discouraged. Keep on writing.

: : : : : : : : thanks for your speedy response if you are correct in your asumption then I am not too sure that my critic is justified but judge for yourself at [Dead link removed - ed]
: : : : : : : : thanks

: : : : : : : Looks like "strong, active verbs" and "vivid, colorful nouns" to me. Good job. Seriously. One thing, it should be "half moon's" -- possessive.

: : : : : : half moon's it is

: : : : : and passion's heat --possessive?

: : : : Right you are. I missed that.

: : : Want another opinion? There aren't too many modifiers. I have a problem with the fractions, though: cannot reconcile half moon with quarter light. I visualize geometric shapes that don't go together.

: : Thanks for having a look although I think that you are taking my words a little bit too literally - the thinking was if it was a full moon then half-light, well you get the idea.

: Isn't a 'Quarter Light' a type of window? I do find the notion of a few lines of mediocre verse being classified as 'work' a bit OTT ('Over The Top' excessive or even pretentious) - sounds more like an offering to me.

In a writers' workshop, spitting a fireball like that would earn any member an exemption from the privilege of attending.