News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 9 to 10 a.m.

Why advertisers are turning adjectives into nouns





Listen to story

06:12
Download this story 2.0MB

English can be a tough nut to crack, even for those of us who grew up speaking it. Advertisers certainly aren't making things any easier.

Recently they've been bending the rules of grammar and turning adjectives into nouns. 

Some examples you might be familiar with:

What's behind the grammatical phenomenon?

Ben Yagoda teaches English and writing at the University of Delaware and he says that for advertisers, it's all about getting consumers to sit up and pay attention. Using one part of speech as another (the technical term is "anthimeria") is one way to do that.

Ben Yagoda has written about "anthimeria" here, here and here. His latest book is "How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them".