The other day I learned about a new species of bird. It’s called the Cockadoodle. Kind of like a Cockatoo – but different. It displays a rainbow of vibrantly coloured shining plumage – mostly electric blue, and feeds on enormous meals of assorted sized bowls of steaming fresh pasta and deliciously mouth watering sweets. It likes to live inside, preferably sleeping on the luxurious top bunk with the affectionate spotty dog.
I also heard delightful tales of gallant princes, scheming wizards, gigantic juicy red apples, amazing potions to undertake all sorts of amazing spells and life in pristine, grand castles, large sprawling gardens and lazy aquamarine worlds under the sparkling ocean.
That was in the morning.
By the afternoon, I encountered a familiar but nonetheless disturbing phenomenon – it often happens, you may have seen it in yourself or others when your energy begins to fade. Our worlds of fantasy from the morning disappeared. Our imaginations began to dwindle. Our sentences became unbearably drab and mind-numbingly dull.
We had lost our adjectives.
A world without adjectives is a world in which I would not choose to live. Imagine sharing a sensational sunset with someone without any adjectives.
“Oh, look at the sun”
“Yes, it’s setting”
With no adjectives we could not describe the lights, the colours, the sounds, the feelings associated with this beautiful phenomenon. Our statements would be purely facts – observations of events with no emotional attachment.
Think about it – imagine if we had no adjectives when discussing love. Or food, or travel, music, movies, babies, clothes, sports matches... In fact – adjectives are what give us the tools to describe and really feel our love of things, events and people. They are the connections, the descriptions, the parodies and the metaphors. They are the similes, the affections, the comparisons and even the oxymorons.
Definition of ADJECTIVE:
A word that describes a person or thing.
When you think about an adjective just like that, it is a word. But when you find yourself without adjectives, consider your sentences and how they may appear to an outsider. They would contain no humour, no drama and not much of any interest. And that’s all fine if you find yourself in an isolated cave, alone in the car or in a small cubicle where conversation or communication is not required… but in a classroom!? In a place of learning, discussing, sharing and reflecting! No adjectives! Just imagine it!
Thankfully we were able to locate our beloved adjectives. We had some literacy games, we shared some writing on the board and we really thought hard about ways to make our writing and communicating more stimulating. But as with anything you’ve ever lost or been without for a while – our feelings of affection for our adjectives was heightened.
My message to you is to love your adjectives. To use them often, respect them and build upon them! Words that describe give our language a richness, depth and emotional attachment that make it interesting, stimulating and fun.
And if you ever find yourself missing your adjectives, just think of the Cockadoodle, and how boring he would be if he was just a bird with feathers who ate and slept….