Do we mean the mammaries that delight the memories of Jan Needle's tribe, the Needle-ites?
Or do we mean nincompoops, also known as boobies? Have you fallen for the sort of misdirection prized by the Kirtonians, founded by Bill Kirton?
If so, take comfort in knowing that the real game has only begun. For now that you're here we can turn to word one. That's right, let's focus on
It's worth a close look for two reasons:
1) Adjectives, like adverbs, are commonly forbidden.
2) Brazen's dual use here lets us to study when adjectives work or do not..
Brazen Boobies #1 will draw in a certain crowd but the phrase is unemployed. We could just as easily write Luscious Tatas or Supremo Patooties.
Brazen Boobies #2 works because it does work. After learning that we've been duped, we're led to smile a second time--because brazen is not a word we've ever coupled with half-wits. We think of ninnies as being loud, vulgar, stupid, common and obnoxious. But brazen? Most of us are ready to read on.
So, class, I implore you. Before joining brazen boobies in the wholesale slaughter of adjectives and adverbs, be guided by your own instincts and taste,
Consider this example:
"Merry Christmas!" he cried happily as he started to swing with the bat.
You could follow the Plain and Proper Nazis, of course, and red pencil that to this:
"Merry Christmas," he said as he swung with the bat.
But the shorter version is no improvement. Stripping the exclamation point and changing cried to said, then--worse still--scrapping happily deprive us of the tone. And now we have only one swing with the bat in order to save syllables. We have to work harder to flesh out the scene--a clear instance of less being less and not more.
Remember: any brazen boobie can red pencil anything out of his work that another brazen boobie could not have easily written.
Dare to bend or break the rules when doing so gives you both pow and
SPECIAL BRAZEN BONUS
W.H.Auden wrote the only poem I can still quote in its entirety after 50 years. Yes, it's a limerick...but it's also a textbook example of the perfect use of adjectives and adverbs. Combined, of course, with tone, style, rhyme and sass.
As the poets have mournfully sung,
Death takes the innocent young,
And those who are very well hung.
The opening elegiac lines set us up for the slaps in the following two. And the last word reveals the ultimate obscenity: death's taking stud muffins with really big dicks.
Auden knew the reaction he wanted--and exactly how to get it.