Friday, August 01, 2014

How to create a list of adjectives quickly

I use these two speedy techniques to create lists of adjectives.

Technique One - Synonym and Selection

To kick off this approach, I just look round the room and pick a random object:


Then I think of an adjective that describes a dog:


Then I have a choice of synonym or selection. I'll go for synonym here; that's more or less self explanatory - I choose a synonym for cute:


Same choice again, synonym or selection, but here I'll demonstrate selection. With selection I take the first letter of the word (adorable = a) then select another letter at random from the word, and use the two letters to trigger another adjective.I'll choose the letter b:

a + b = able.

Then I just carry on using synonym and selection until I have a list of adjectives:

able synonyms =
capable, adept.

adept selection = a + t
= attentive

attentive synonyms =
studious, captivated, alert

captivated selection = c + p
= capricious, corpulent, copper, capable

copper synonyms =
metallic, shiny, metal, brassy

brassy selection = b + r
= bright, boring, braggy, bare.


Technique Two -Noun and its adjectives, synonym, selection

Synonym and selection are explained above. The other option in addition to those two is noun and its adjectives. With NAIA I look at an adjective and think of something that that adjective could describe. Here's some examples, using the adjectives generated above:

able = handyman, Superman, instructor.
attentive = student, partner.
copper = wire, tank, money.

Then for any of the nouns I list some adjectives that could describe them:

Superman = amazing, dependable, alien, fast, strong.
student =  hard working, educated, stressed.
wire = long, thing, electronic, wirey.

Here's how technique two can pan out:

First I'll pick something from the room I'm in:


I'll pick an adjective that describes the carpet:


I'll select the two letters from green: g + e, which suggests:


Now for some synonyms:

Benevolent, kind, magnanimous.

Selection (for benevolent) = b + n. Gives:


Selection again. b + d. Gives:


Now to pick a noun, something that is bodily:


Adjective for arms:


And now some multiple responses to each prompt: 

Dexterous = nimble, clever, supple.
Supple (s + u) = sunny, sumptuous, surly, southern.
What's sunny? = Barbados. The sun. Beaches. Solar System.
The sun = hot, spherical, distant, big, essential.
essential (synonyms) = important, irreplaceable, de rigueur.


NB: If I want to use a random adjective and look to my list and look at a noun (such as Barbados, the sun, beaches, Solar System etc) then I kind of turn the noun into an adjective (by adding something like "ish") then ask myself, "What could that mean as an adjective?"

Eg: Barbados-ish = hot, sunny, beachy.
Solar System-ish = enormous, scientific, planet-ish.


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