Top 5 Erroneously Qualified Adjectives

Do you wonder which powerful adjectives lose their impact when qualified?

Let’s stop being guilty and clean up our posts by killing the unnecessary intensifiers (more, most, a lot of, etc.) that sap the strengths of describing words. Try going over the list (you could even add more) and vow not to make these mistakes again.

1. ideal

Working from home is most ideal for mothers.

Did “most” make “ideal” sound powerful?  An “ideal” concept or article is one which cannot be improved upon. Anything that is ideal is perfect or the best or the most suitable that something could possibly be.

2. perfect

I haven’t imagined a portrait more perfect than Monalisa.

Alright, it plays nice to the ear but it’s imperfect to say “more” before perfect since it’s something that cannot be improved upon. If you are to praise using “perfect”, phrase your compliments never in comparative or superlative. Go all the way.

3. unique

You’re simply the most unique being I’ve ever met.

Without ‘most’, the word ‘unique’ could have swept me off my feet. It’s neat and strong on its own, no extra ‘more’ or ‘most’ would make it perform better.

4. minimal

Even fairly minimal manipulation of personal control seemed to have a dramatic effect.

A quick look at your dictionary would lead you back to the right path. Minimal means very small in degree or amount, esp. the smallest degree or amount possible. Do you see how using ‘fairly’ before “minimal” doesn’t make sense? Remember, there can be no degrees of minimality.

5. abstract

The most abstract of the abstract paintings on the wall is the one near your bedroom.

If my memory hasn’t failed me yet, I learned that abstract can’t be preceded by “more” or “most”. Since if something is extremely complex, could it be more or most puzzling?

You can do your own research, I would love to hear your views on adjective misuse.

Reference:,, The Penguin Guide to Plain English

One response

  1. roclafamilia Avatar

    Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

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