Words classifiable in four different ways as a noun, adjective, verb and adverb

The Elements of Style
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Nouns, Adjectives, Verbs, Adverbs

Words classifiable in four different ways as either a noun, adjective, verb or adverb, are very useful when you’re trying to understand the semantic relationships that exist between words that are defined in Wordnet. You may or may not know that Wordnet is a free lexical database of English available from Stanford University. The main semantic relationships defined between words are Synonymy, Antonymy, Hypernymy, Hyponymy, Meronymy, Holonymy, and Troponymy. Why not download Wordnet and type in one of the words listed below and explore these relationships.

  1. best
  2. better
  3. bitter
  4. broadside
  5. clean
  6. clear
  7. close
  8. cod
  9. collect
  10. counter
  11. crisscross
  12. damn
  13. double
  14. down
  15. express
  16. fair
  17. fast
  18. fine
  19. firm
  20. flush
  21. forward
  22. free
  23. home
  24. jolly
  25. last
  26. light
  27. low
  28. okay
  29. out
  30. pat
  31. plain
  32. plumb
  33. plump
  34. pop
  35. quiet
  36. right
  37. rough
  38. round
  39. second
  40. short
  41. solo
  42. square
  43. steady
  44. still
  45. tiptoe
  46. true
  47. well
  48. wholesale
  49. worst
  50. wrong
  51. zigzag
  52. slow + its homonym sloe

Lexicons, like Wordnet, make learning about words fun and interesting even though some types of words seem to be more important than others! William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White once wrote:

“Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place… it is nouns and verbs, not their assistants, that give good writing its toughness and color.
The Elements of Style

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