Magical Words: The Tension of English

In a Magical Words, Dr. Emily Leverett discussed Adjectivals (“Adjectival Part 1: pre-noun modifiers”,, 7/28/2015 – the adjectives, nouns, and participles which make a noun pop. Think of a normal, unmodified noun as a white box and the adjectivals expanding the setting with actual description. The white box becomes a vibrant, rainbow carpeted box.

During the article, she mentions how English creates tension. Many languages put the noun or verb right out there at the start, then add all the modifiers after, filling in the world. Like a white box dialog getting all the setting description later in the editing process. But in English, words may be going for a while before you even know what is being described, and then you might need to wait a little more before the noun gets verb-ed into action.

Is that constant “wait for it” adding to the tension found in English cultures?

(Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash)