Last week Charlie Davis submitted a compilation of what he called "hollow modifiers" in a recent coin auction catalog - those colorful adjectives that many people love to hate: "satiny, elusive, enigmatic, attractive, extraordinary, lustrous, classic" etc.
Dave Bowers writes:
For those who yearn for relief from “meaningless’” adjectives in descriptions, there is hope: Computerized billing, Excel files, and the like. “Just the facts, ma’am,” and “no embellishment please.”
The long legal notices published by the DEA in newspapers, offering seized coins for sale, have no adjectives at all, and offer a rich opportunity for adjective-phobes to do some bedside reading.
I for one like adjectives, and within the context of numismatics I think that many coins, situations, and events can indeed be “important.”
Isn’t it delightful that there are so many people with so many diverse and interesting (pardon the adjective) commentaries on what we all do?
As a catalog reader, I do get annoyed at times by what seem to be hollow modifiers. But I'm much more forgiving in my interpretation. "Satiny" can well be a fine description of a coin's surface, and "lustrous" can be quite apt as well at times. It's only when such words are applied with a thick brush that they tend to stick in the throat. Like beauty itself, "satiny" and "lustrous" are in the eye of the beholder. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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